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What Triggers Plantar Fasciitis?

Plantar fasciitis is the kind of condition that can keep runners sidelined on the couch. It’s a painful foot condition that’s often at its worst when walking after waking up or sitting for a while. If it gets bad enough, you may find it extremely painful just to move about, let alone run.

Most often, plantar fasciitis causes pain in your heels and arches. Although it’s painful, it’s also treatable. In this blog, the doctors at Washington foot & Ankle Sports Medicine discuss what can trigger plantar fasciitis and how it can be treated.

What is plantar fasciitis?

Plantar fasciitis is, at its root, a repetitive strain injury. The plantar fascia is a band of tissue that runs along the bottom of your foot like a bowstring. This band can become inflamed in response to intense pressure. When plantar fasciitis flares up, you can even develop tiny tears in the plantar fascia.

Risk factors for developing plantar fasciitis

While anyone can develop plantar fasciitis at any time, some people are more prone to developing this condition. Some of the most common risk factors include the following:

Taking up running

While running can be a healthy activity, it can also trigger plantar fasciitis in new runners who do too much too soon. For a person just taking up the activity, their plantar fascia won’t be used to the new level of stress.

Long-distance running

Experienced runners can also be prone to developing plantar fasciitis. This is particularly true with long-distance runners or runners who have changed their running habits. Any new or intense stress on the feet can lead to plantar fasciitis.

Other risk factors

How to treat plantar fasciitis

While plantar fasciitis can be painful, it’s also very treatable. The most important thing to do if you have plantar fasciitis is to rest. It may be the opposite of what you want to do if you’re a runner, but it’s the most reliable way to heal your feet. 

It may also be time to get fitted for some new shoes. Wearing unsupportive or worn-out shoes can have a big impact on your feet. This is not an area where you want to skimp on your budget. While good shoes can be a bit more expensive, the extra money is worth it if you can reduce the strain on your feet. 

If needed, you can also get custom orthotics to help cradle your feet properly. Orthotics can relieve pain and stress and help the muscles, tendons, and bones in your feet function at their optimum level. 

For pain, you can use non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications. You can also try icing your feet and doing exercises to stretch and strengthen the tendons in your feet. If these steps fail to help, you may be able to get steroid injections in your feet to reduce pain and swelling.

Plantar fasciitis can take you out of the game for a little while. But, with the proper treatment, you can get active again soon. If you have plantar fasciitis or want to see if you do, book an appointment online or over the phone with Washington Foot & Ankle Sports Medicine today.

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