You may have heard of something called plantar fasciitis, sometimes called jogger’s heel. It’s a disorder that causes pain in the heel and bottom of the foot. It affects a thick band of connective tissue at the bottom of your foot called the plantar fascia, or the arch of your foot, that connects your heel to your toes.
Plantar fasciitis is caused by injuring the plantar fascia
Straining it causes tiny tears in the ligament. This strain can come from excessive pronation (or rolling your feet inward when you walk), having high arches or flat arches, walking/standing/running for long periods of time, being overweight or wearing ill-fitting or worn out shoes. The pain is in your heel and bothers most first steps of the day, feels a bit better as you take a few steps, then gets progressively worse as you stand, walk, climb stairs, etc.
Varied treatments for plantar fascia
Treatment can be varied anywhere from rest to surgery. Most people are told to rest and cut back on activities that aggravate your foot. Ibuprofen, ice and heat and other over the counter remedies help. Stretches also help. Physical therapy can help in this. A physical therapist can teach you stretches and do other treatments to help alleviate the swelling and pain. New shoes with good arch support are a good idea.
Do you need surgery?
If the pain persists, you may have to wear a splint at night. Steroid shots may also be recommended by your doctor. Surgery is a last ditch effort and is usually only used if other treatments haven’t been effective after about a year.
If you have pain in your heel, please see your doctor or come in for a FREE pain evaluation! We have worked with hundreds of athletes, helping them to gain pain-free running.