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Getting the Facts Straight on Plantar Fasciitis, Part 1

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Bunions, flat foot, hammer toe. What else could our feet possibly endure?
How about plantar fasciitis?

Considering how hard our feet work for us every day, it is no wonder how many medical conditions we can either experience or dodge. Either way, there is a lot of room for error. One of the most painful foot conditions is called plantar fasciitis. Although this sounds more like a gardening term, it is a condition in which your plantar fascia is strained, causing it to swell and be very weak. Still confused? In non-technical doctor terms, the ligament on the bottom of your foot that connects your heel to your toes is strained causing insurmountable pain.

Although most commonly striking the 40-60 age range, it is more common in women (again, with their fancy fashion statement heels) and sports players –- especially runners. Other risk factors include: high arches or flat foot, being overweight, a tight Achilles tendon or calf muscle or walking, running or standing for long periods of time. I think we just about covered a large portion of the population. And believe it or not, I am in the plantar fasciitis club as well. It seems like I am the record holder for most sports related medical conditions at the ripe age of 26. Let me be the first to say plantar fasciitis is not pleasant. But I will also be the first to say that I listened to every word my doctor told me and within a few months I was perfectly back to normal.

With that said, there is some need to know info that can help you get the treatment you need, fast and easy without dragging your body though pain any longer.

First of all, it is important to note that unless you have a blunt injury to your heel, plantar fasciitis develops gradually. Also, it is not uncommon to have it in only one foot. Once you start to experience pain and tenderness on the bottom of your foot, that should the first red flag you have a problem. Calling your doctor as soon as possible is the first step to healing (no pun intended). Like anything else, the longer you wait, the worse off you are. Ignoring plantar fasciitis may result in a more chronic medical condition that can alter your daily activities leaving you on the sidelines with hip, knee and back problems. In addition, it can actually alter your walking motion if left untreated. So, don't sit around and wait for your body to heal itself. Take matters into your own hands and get it checked out.

Check back Wednesday where I will share the answers to frequently asked questions about Plantar Fasciitis. And get this -- my roommate is a physical therapist, so I will have a tip or two to get you back in the swing of things in no time flat.

Add a Comment1 Comments

Great article. I, for one, can say, definately do not wait. If you think you have plantar fasciitis go to a podiatrist and start stretching. Stretching your calf is the most important thing you can do on a daily basis. Been there, done that. I also got orthotics and a great pair of new supportive shoes.

January 19, 2010 - 9:54am
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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.

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