The plantar fascia is a band of connective tissue that runs along the bottom of the foot from your heel to the base of your toes. Overuse or prolonged wear and tear on the heel can strain this band causing damage, inflammation, and pain. Pain under the heel is most frequently associated with a condition known as plantar fasciitis.
Plantar fasciitis affects both athletic and inactive individuals and can be triggered by any number of factors or activities that overload or overstretch the plantar fascia. Risk factors for plantar fasciitis include foot arch problems, a tight Achilles tendon, and tight calf muscles. Additionally, certain sports, exercises, being overweight, as well as worn or poorly constructed shoes may contribute to the problem. Plantar fasciitis is common among athletes who run and jump a lot. Runners in particular often complain of plantar heel pain.
Symptoms of plantar fasciitis can occur suddenly or gradually and can be quite painful. The most common symptom is pain and stiffness in the bottom of the heel. While an individual with plantar fasciitis may experience pain that is dull or sharp, sometimes aching or burning on the bottom of the foot is felt. In many cases, a heel spur is also present.
Once our podiatrist has determined that your heel pain is in fact due to plantar fasciitis, the appropriate treatment will be recommended. Most individuals will experience improvements with conservative therapy alone. If symptoms are disabling and persist even after an extended course of conservative therapy, other methods of care may be considered.