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Top Causes of Plantar Fasciitis—And How to Prevent Them

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Plantar fasciitis is a condition with many possible causes. Consider, by way of example, a car that won’t start. It could be the battery. It could be the starter. Perhaps the alternator is fried, or you have a faulty ignition switch.

“Under the hood,” plantar fasciitis is a heel pain condition which arises from small tears and inflammation in a thick band of tissue called the plantar fascia. There are many possible external factors that can lead to this state of affairs. The most common include:

Poor Footwear

Plantar fasciitis has many different possible causesShoes that are too tight, too loose, or poorly equipped to support and cushion the forces and stresses you’re putting on your feet are likely to produce painful conditions, including plantar fasciitis.

Prevention Tip: Make sure your shoes are comfortable, supportive, well-fitting, and appropriate for your activity. Pro tip: swing by The Right Shoe, where we offer a variety of podiatrist-approved shoes, boots, sandals, and slippers specially selected for comfort, performance, and style.

Faulty Foot Structure and/or Mechanics

Structural issues with your foot shape—such as flat feet—can cause plantar fasciitis by placing extra stress on the heel and arch. Faulty mechanics, such as feet that roll too far inward with each step (overpronation) can also play a role.

Prevention Tip: First see if the problem can be corrected with better shoes, then make an appointment with our podiatry team to get fitted for over-the-counter shoe inserts or custom orthotics designed especially for you.

Athletic Overuse

The constant wear and tear of activities like running, jumping, dancing, and high-impact sports can overstress your plantar fascia, causing tearing and swelling over time.

Prevention Tip: Work up to new activities slowly to give your body time to adjust. Warm up, cool down, and stretch regularly (especially your calves) throughout the day. Wear good shoes. Remember to drink lots of water and cross-train in some low-impact activities (like bicycling, for example) to give your feet a regular break while remaining active.

Standing All Day

People with hobbies or occupations that keep them on their feet all day frequently develop plantar fasciitis pain.

Prevention Tip: Again, make sure your shoes are appropriate. Take regular breaks, alternating between sitting and standing as much as possible. Take time to stretch and wiggle your toes. Get a squishy rug or mat to place over the hard floor at your workstation.

Because plantar fasciitis has many potential causes, the best treatment course may vary from person to person. If nagging, chronic pain is restricting you from living your preferred lifestyle, the best decision you can make is to call Martin Foot & Ankle at (717) 757-3537. Our team of experts can help you identify the root cause of your pain and get you relief as quickly as possible.

Dr. Kyle R. Yorgason
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