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Severe Foot Pain: Is It Plantar Fasciitis?

What is Plantar Fasciitis?

Plantar fasciitis is a relatively common cause of severe foot pain. It may affect anyone but especially strikes runners and other physically active people. The pain results from inflammation of the plantar fascia, a thick band of tissue that stretches from the heel to the front of the foot and supports the arch of the foot.

The plantar fascia becomes less resilient with age and may be damaged by frequent or intense physical activity. Vigorous participation in sports such as running, tennis, and aerobics (dance, step, etc.) that puts particular stress on the foot is the most common cause of damage to the plantar fascia. It may sometimes plague tourists who are doing a lot of sightseeing on foot in shoes without adequate support.

Plantar fasciitis can also result from a bony spur projecting from the underside of the heel that makes walking painful. Spurs under the sole (plantar area) typically cause localized tenderness and pain that is made worse by stepping down on the heel.

People with plantar fasciitis describe a sharp, stabbing pain in the heel that is most pronounced first thing in the morning after arising from bed. The pain may decrease as the day goes on. But with prolonged standing or walking, the pain can become dull and aching. Sometimes the pain is described as a burning sensation along the sole of the foot, and standing on tiptoes can be painful.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 9/11/2017

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