Plantar faciitis is a common condition that affects a significant amount of people, it’s estimated that approximately 10% of the population will experience plantar fasciitis at some point in their lives. Studies suggest it includes people of all ages, genders, and activity levels.
Plantar fasciitis is characterized by pain and inflammation in the plantar fascia, a thick band of tissue that runs along the bottom of your foot, connecting your heel bone to your toes.
So how would you know if you have plantar fasciitis?
The most prominent symptom of plantar fasciitis is pain in the heel, typically felt at the bottom or the inside of the heel. The pain is often described as sharp or stabbing and is usually worse in the morning or after a period of rest.
In addition to heel pain, you may also experience pain in the arch of your foot. The plantar fascia supports the arch, so when it's inflamed, you may feel discomfort in this area.
Plantar fasciitis pain is often worse after periods of inactivity, first step in the morning after sleep or after sitting for a long time. The pain may gradually improve with movement as you loosen up the fascia.
Physical activity, particularly those that involve prolonged standing, walking, or running, can exacerbate the pain. You may notice increased discomfort during these activities or afterward.
Many individuals with plantar fasciitis experience stiffness and limited mobility in the affected foot. This can make it difficult to walk or participate in regular activities.
The affected area may be tender to the touch. If you press on the bottom of your heel or along the arch and it causes pain, it could be a sign of plantar fasciitis.
Plantar fasciitis usually develops gradually over time rather than appearing suddenly. You may not recall a specific incident or injury that triggered the pain.
In some cases, the heel or surrounding area may appear swollen or red. However, it's important to note that swelling is less common with plantar fasciitis compared to other foot conditions like tendonitis.
Tight calf muscles can contribute to plantar fasciitis. If you experience increased pain in your foot when stretching your calf muscles, it may indicate this condition.
The pain associated with plantar fasciitis generally improves with rest. If you notice that the pain subsides after periods of rest or specific stretches targeting the calf muscles and plantar fascia, it suggests plantar fasciitis.
It's important to remember that while these signs and symptoms are commonly associated with plantar fasciitis, they can also be indicative of other foot conditions. To obtain an accurate diagnosis, it's recommended to consult a doctor to confirm diagnosis and suggest appropriate treatment options.