Plantar fasciitis is a real problem. This condition causes intense pain, mostly in your heels, as a result of the plantar fascia becoming inflamed. The plantar fascia is a band of tissue that connects the balls of your feet to your heels.
Plantar fasciitis can occur in anyone who stands on their feet a lot, but athletes are at extra risk. This is because the plantar fascia of your feet absorb a lot of pressure, and this pressure only increases with certain activities, such as running and jumping.
In this blog, the providers at Washington Foot & Ankle Sports Medicine explain the symptoms, risks, and treatments for plantar fasciitis.
The symptoms of plantar fasciitis
If you have plantar fasciitis, you’ll most likely feel pain in your heels, even though it’s the ligament that forms your foot arch that is inflamed. This pain in your heels may be dull or stabbing, and it may even feel like you have a bruise on your heel.
You may also find that the pain in your heels is worse right after waking up. It’s not uncommon for the pain to gradually become less over the course of the day. Your Achilles tendon may also feel tight.
Who’s at risk for developing plantar fasciitis
Runners are at extra risk for developing plantar fasciitis, especially if they don’t stretch enough before running. This can be an extremely frustrating condition because it can make running more painful and unpleasant.
People who are obese are also at greater risk of developing plantar fasciitis. It’s estimated that 70% of people with plantar fasciitis are obese, and it’s very possible to be both obese and athletic.
You can also be at an increased risk of developing plantar fasciitis if you have high arches and if you don’t wear supportive enough shoes.
Plantar fasciitis and athletes
Playing certain sports can increase your risk of developing plantar fasciitis, such as the following:
Playing soccer can increase your risk of developing plantar fasciitis because the sport involves lots of running. You can also increase your risk of developing this condition if you don’t wear the right footwear.
Wearing cleats that are worn out can cause foot issues. However, even wearing new cleats won’t help if they’re not right for your feet. You need shoes that are customized for your feet.
Basketball players are at risk for developing plantar fasciitis because the sport requires lots of running and jumping. And with jumping, your full weight is brought down on your feet when landing.
As with soccer players, wearing the right shoes when playing is essential. Your shoes should support both your ankles and arches.
Football players are at risk of developing plantar fasciitis because the sport involves a lot of running, cutting, stopping, and starting. And again, wearing the right footwear is crucial to preventing injuries, such as plantar fasciitis.
Treating plantar fasciitis
If you develop plantar fasciitis, the first thing you need to do is rest. If you don’t rest, you could make the condition worse.
You may also want to consider getting custom orthotics for your regular shoes and sporting shoes. Orthotics can cradle your feet and provide the correct arch support to help you prevent future bouts of plantar fasciitis.
You may also want to wear a night splint when you go to bed. A night splint holds your foot in a neutral position, which can help heal injured plantar fascia tissue, among other things.
You can also apply ice to the area 3-4 times a day for 15-20 minutes. Furthermore, taking nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications, such as ibuprofen, may provide relief.
If you have the symptoms of plantar fasciitis, the providers at Washington Foot & Ankle Sports Medicine can help you get well. To learn more, book an appointment online or over the phone today.