Are you one of the over 2 million Americans who is suffering from plantar fasciitis this year? If you have stabbing pain in your heel right after getting out of bed or after long periods of standing or sitting you could be suffering from plantar fasciitis.
Plantar fasciitis is one of the most common causes of heel pain and it is caused by inflammation in the thick band of tissue – plantar fascia – that stretches across the bottom of your feet, connecting your heel to your toes.
Plantar fasciitis affects some groups of people more than others. If you fit into any of the categories below, you may be at increased risk for plantar fasciitis:
• Middle – aged individuals: Plantar Fasciitis is most commonly experienced by people between 40-60 years of age
• Occupations that require standing: People who are on their feet a lot are more likely to develop plantar fasciitis. This could include teachers, factory workers, soldiers, nurses and anyone else who stands a good portion of the day.
• Overweight individuals: Individuals who carry extra weight are at an increased risk for plantar fasciitis because the additional pounds add stress to your plantar fascia
• Active individuals: Any exercise that puts lots of stress on your heel and the attached band of tissue can lead to early-onset Plantar Fasciitis. Ballet dancers, runners and dance aerobicizers commonly develop plantar fasciitis.
• Individuals with impaired foot mechanisms: High arches, flat feet, or an irregular walking pattern can lead to incorrect weight distribution while standing. This puts additional strain on the plantar fascia in your feet and can lead to extreme heel pain.
It is important not to ignore heel pain, especially if it is so extreme that it gets in the way of your daily activities. Brushing aside plantar fasciitis may cause you to adjust the way you walk to decrease pain, which can lead to foot, knee, hip or back problems over time.
If you think you may have plantar fasciitis a good first treatment is rest! Cut back on the activities that hurt your heel. You can also try stretching your calves, toes and quads in order to reduce the pressure on the heel. If these simple remedies do not work, it is important to talk to your doctor so he or she can suggest the best treatment plan for you.
About Rami Calis, DPM:
Rami Calis, DPM, is assistant professor in the Department of Orthopedics. He is board certified and a Diplomate, American Board of Podiatric Orthopedics and Primary Podiatric Medicine, with an interest in sports medicine of the lower extremity and foot and ankle biomechanics. Dr. Calis sees patients at Emory Orthopaedics & Spine Center at Executive Park and also in Sugarloaf, at our satellite office. Dr. Calis’ professional goal is to improve patient care and quality of life for patients with foot and ankle problems. Dr. Calis began practicing at Emory in 2003.