A podiatrist, also known as a doctor of podiatric medicine, is a foot doctor. This kind of surgeon or physician can treat the ankle, foot and connecting parts of the leg. A podiatrist can help you if you have a foot condition like plantar fasciitis. Read on to learn more about plantar fasciitis.
Plantar fasciitis is a common cause of pain on the bottom of a person’s heel. Millions of patients receive treatment for this condition annually. Plantar fasciitis occurs when the tissue band that supports the arch of the foot becomes either inflamed or irritated. The plantar fascia is a thin, long ligament that lies beneath the skin on the bottom of a person’s foot. It supports the arch of the foot and connects the heel to the front of the foot.
Many people who have plantar fasciitis complain about stabbing pain at the bottom of the foot. The pain usually gets worse in the morning with the first few steps after a person gets out of bed. The pain can also be triggered after a person gets up after a long period of rest or when a person stands for a long time. Some people also experience more pain after exercise.
The plantar fascia can absorb the high strains and stresses that people place on the feet. However, in some cases, too much pressure can end up damaging or tearing the tissues. The natural response of the body to injury is inflammation. This can result in not only heel pain but also the stiffness of plantar fasciitis.
In many cases, the condition develops without a particular, identifiable reason. However, several factors can make someone more prone to the condition. Activities that place immense stress on the heel as well as the attached tissue, like long-distance running and ballet dancing, can contribute to the onset of the condition. Running and walking are also great ways to exercise but doing a lot or too much of either can increase the chances of a person having this type of foot condition.
Flat feet, high arches or an abnormal walking pattern can impact the way weight is distributed when a person is standing and can put more stress on the plantar fascia. When it comes to obesity, the excess pounds can put extra stress on the plantar fascia. People who have jobs that keep them on their feet can also get it. Teachers, factory workers and others who spend a lot of time at work standing or walking on hard surfaces can damage the plantar fascia. People with tight calf muscles or over 40 also have a high chance of developing this condition.
Ignoring plantar fasciitis can lead to heel pain that may hinder your regular activities. Relieving pain by changing the way you walk may lead to back, foot, knee or hip problems. Seeking early treatment for the condition is immensely important. If you have any questions about plantar fasciitis, talk to a foot doctor.
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