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Plantar fasciitis is the inflammation of the band of tissue that connects the heel to the base of the bone. It can cause pain in the arch and heel area, typically upon waking up or after prolonged rest.

The pain usually gets better as you start moving. At rest, there’s less pressure on your feet, but after engaging your feet in physical activity, the plantar fascia may get inflamed again.

Our specialists at Foot and Ankle Specialists of Ohio understand how uncomfortable it is to wake up with pain. Below, we asked them to explain what can cause these symptoms and what treatments are available for managing them.

Plantar fasciitis causes and risk factors

Plantar fasciitis can be caused by strains, tears, or overuse of the plantar fascia. You’re at higher risk of developing it if you wear uncomfortable shoes, are a runner, have a job that involves standing for prolonged periods, have flat feet, have tight calf muscles, or are overweight.

In some instances, pain may indicate a ruptured fascia. With plantar fasciitis, there are micro-tears to the fascia. However, in the absence of treatment, plantar fasciitis microtears can become larger and lead to a ruptured fascia.

Symptoms of a ruptured fascia include severe pain and the inability to bear weight on the foot.

Treatments for plantar fasciitis

In most cases, plantar fasciitis improves with a few simple lifestyle changes and home remedies. These include ice packs, over-the-counter painkillers, and weight loss if necessary.

study suggests that bariatric patients who lose weight see an improvement in their symptoms and need fewer medical visits to manage their plantar fasciitis.

If the pain doesn’t improve, a podiatrist can help you by recommending night splits to prevent your feet from pointing downward and keep the foot flat, so the plantar fascia remains engaged throughout the night.

Podiatrists may also recommend special shoes, insoles, and exercises to relieve the pressure on your feet.

When to see a specialist for your plantar fasciitis

You may need to seek medical help if the pain in your foot worsens, the pain persists for more than two weeks, you have a loss of feeling in your foot, or you have diabetes.

If your plantar fasciitis is causing you pain and discomfort, contact us to schedule an appointment. Our experts are more than happy to examine your foot and prescribe a personalized treatment plan so you can get back on your feet as soon as possible.