One out of every 10 people experience plantar fasciitis at some point during their lifetime. It’s the most common cause of heel pain and is often seen in runners. But pounding the pavement for exercise isn’t the most common risk factor for plantar fasciitis.
Our highly skilled podiatrist, Dr. Richard Hochman, specializes in diagnosing and treating foot problems like plantar fasciitis. Recovery from plantar fasciitis takes time, which many find frustrating. What if you could prevent the inflammatory condition altogether?
Here, we want to share the three most common risk factors for plantar fasciitis and what you can do to protect your feet.
Your foot structure
The most common cause of plantar fasciitis is the structure of your foot. If you have high arches or flat feet (also known as flatfoot), you’re more likely to get plantar fasciitis — inflammation of the plantar fascia.
The plantar fascia is a rubber band-like tissue that runs on the bottom of your foot, connecting your heel to your toes. The plantar fascia forms the arch of your foot and acts as a shock absorber when you walk or jog.
Too much tension on the plantar fascia causes tiny tears in the tissue that leads to inflammation and pain. Having an arch that’s too high or too flat affects the distribution of your body weight, placing more stress on the plantar fasciitis.
Wearing unsupportive shoes
Your feet are complex and designed to support your body weight as you propel yourself forward. But your feet aren’t invincible, and the type of shoes you wear can affect the structure and function of your feet.
Wearing shoes that fail to provide proper foot support, especially in the arch, may increase your risk of plantar fasciitis. If you have a foot condition like high arches or flat feet, you may benefit from custom-made orthotics, which provide extra support for the arch, reducing risk of plantar fasciitis.
Supportive footwear is also important for active individuals like runners and people who spend a lot of time on their feet.
Spending long hours on your feet
If you have a job that requires standing most of the day, you’re at risk of developing plantar fasciitis. Runners aren’t the only people at risk of developing plantar fasciitis. We also see the foot condition in teachers, postal workers, and food service workers.
Wearing supportive shoes and taking sit-down breaks may help prevent plantar fasciitis. Maintaining a healthy weight also reduces the amount of pressure and stress on your feet.
Don’t ignore heel pain, even if it only happens when you first wake up in the morning. Failing to treat plantar fasciitis now may lead to chronic foot pain that affects your quality of life later.
Most people with plantar fasciitis get better with conservative care like nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and stretching exercises. We also offer extracorporeal shockwave therapy (ESWT), a nonsurgical treatment that stimulates healing of the damaged plantar fascia.
Do you have heel pain? Call Dr. Hochman today or request an appointment online at our office in Coral Gables, Florida.