Understanding the Risk Factors for Plantar Fasciitis

Understanding the Risk Factors for Plantar Fasciitis

Plantar fasciitis is a prevalent and often painful condition that impacts the plantar fascia— a thick tissue band which connects the heel bone to the toes.  To prevent and manage this condition, it’s crucial to understand its causes and risk factors. In this blog, we will delve into the causes and treatment options of the plantar fasciitis.

What is Plantar Fasciitis?

Plantar fasciitis ranks among the most common causes of heel pain. This condition involves inflammation of a thick tissue band called plantar fascia that stretches across the bottom of both feet, linking the heel bone to the toes.

The condition is often characterized by sharp, stabbing heel pain, especially when you take your first steps in the morning or after periods of inactivity. People with plantar fasciitis experience heel pain after running or prolonged periods of standing.

What are the Causes of Plantar Fasciitis?

While putting too much strain on the fascia is a major plantar fasciitis cause, there are other contributing factors leading to this condition. Understanding these causes can help in preventing plantar fasciitis.

Here are some plantar fasciitis causes and risk factors:

  • Obesity: Excess body weight can stress the plantar fascia more and increase the risk of inflammation and pain.
  • Age: Plantar fasciitis is more common in adults, particularly those between 40 and 60, as the plantar fascia tends to lose elasticity and become less flexible with age.
  • Excessive Physical Activity: Repetitive impact activities like running, jogging, dancing, or jumping can cause inflammation over time.
  • Foot Mechanics: Flat feet or high arches can alter weight distribution, increasing the risk of developing plantar fasciitis.
  • Improper Footwear: Wearing shoes lacking proper arch support, poor cushioning, or inadequate shock absorption can contribute to the development of plantar fasciitis. 
  • Tight Calf Muscles and Achilles Tendon: Tight calf muscles and a shortened Achilles tendon can increase the load on the plantar fascia. 
  • Occupational Factors: Jobs requiring prolonged standing or walking on hard surfaces can increase the risk of developing plantar fasciitis.
Understanding the Risk Factors for Plantar Fasciitis
Understanding the Risk Factors for Plantar Fasciitis
Understanding the Risk Factors for Plantar Fasciitis
Understanding the Risk Factors for Plantar Fasciitis

It’s important to note that plantar fasciitis often results from a combination of these factors rather than a single cause. If you experience persistent heel pain, it’s essential to consult a doctor who can provide a proper diagnosis and treatment plan.

How to Prevent and Treat Plantar Fasciitis?

Treating and preventing plantar fasciitis involves a combination of lifestyle modifications, exercises, and medical interventions. 

Understanding the Risk Factors for Plantar Fasciitis

Here are some strategies for treating and preventing plantar fasciitis:

  • Supportive Shoes: Choose shoes with cushioned heels and good arch support. Avoid walking barefoot on hard floors.
  • Custom-made orthotics: These cushion the heel and correct your foot position, which will help.
  • RICE: After the gym or a long day at work, physicians recommend “RICE” or Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation.
  • Taping: Some individuals find relief from taping techniques that support the arch and reduce strain on the plantar fascia.
  • Maintain a Healthy Weight: Maintaining a healthy body weight can reduce the strain on your feet, decreasing the risk of plantar fasciitis.
  • Exercises: Plantar fasciitis is usually caused by the calf and foot muscles tightening. Taking time to stretch your heel and the foot arch is the most effective way to relieve pain. 
  • Extracorporeal shockwave treatment: The special machine that sends special waves can be used locally. This is typically given once a week for five sessions.
  • Steroid (Cortisone) injection: If the above steps do not relieve pain, your doctor may suggest a corticosteroid injection.

Is Plantar Fasciitis Keeping You Off Your Feet? Consult Dr KP Meda

For personalized care, consult a healthcare professional, especially a foot and ankle specialist.

Dr KP Meda, a board-certified foot surgeon, offers advanced treatment options for plantar fasciitis and various foot conditions. With years of experience and access to cutting-edge technologies, Dr Meda can diagnose and treat heel pain, sports injuries, toe deformities, flat feet, and more.

If you are suffering from any of the conditions affecting your feet, schedule an appointment now.