Photo: Getty Images
If your feet hurt when you first step out of bed in the morning, you may have Plantar Fasciitis (PLAN-tur fas-e-I-tis), a condition that causes pain and inflammation of a thick band of tissue, called the plantar fascia that runs across the bottom of your foot and connects your heel bone to your toes.
What causes it?
Plantar fasciitis is common in runners, but straining the ligament that supports your arch causes it. Repeated strain can cause tiny tears in the ligament. These can lead to pain and swelling. This is more likely to happen if you:
• are a woman between 40 and 60
• walk around around bare-footed or in flip-flops daily
• have high arches or flat feet
• are overweight
• your feet roll inward too much when you walk
• you have tight Achilles tendons or calf muscles
• stand for long periods of time
What are the symptoms? Most people who suffer with plantar fasciitis have tenderness or a stabbing pain in the feet upon waking up in the morning or after long periods of rest, which lessens as you continue to walk. Your foot may also hurt more as the day goes on when walking or climbing stairs.
How do I know if I have it?
Go to your doctor or podiatrist. She or he will check your feet, watch how you stand and walk, and ask questions about your symptoms, physical activity and past health. It’s also a good idea to have an X-ray taken of your foot to detect stress fractures or other bone problems.
What can I do about it?
Follow these tips to lessen the foot pain:
• Try not to walk or run on hard surfaces.
• Put ice on your heel.
• Take an over-the-counter pain reliever like ibuprofen (such as Advil or Motrin), naproxen (such as Aleve), or aspirin.
• Get a new pair of shoes. Pick shoes with good arch support and a cushioned sole. Or try heel cups or shoe inserts.
• Opt for non-weight bearing exercises.
• Do stretching exercises, especially when you first get up in the morning. (See video on youtube.com)
Do I need to give up my high-heels? If you follow the tips above, this author says, “not unless everything else fails.” ☺
WebMD – A to Z Guides - Plantar fasciitis. Web. 19, December, 2011