What Is Plantar Faciitis?

Plantar fasciitis is a condition involving injury to the sole of the foot that results in heel pain. The band of tissue that joins the heel bone to the toes becomes swollen, causing pain, especially upon first getting out of bed in the morning. According to the American Orthopaedic Foot & Ankle Society, without proper treatment, plantar fasciitis can develop into a chronic condition that limits daily activities.

Pain from plantar fasciitis may initially be slight and then become more severe over time. The American Orthopaedic Foot & Ankle Society recommends stretching as an effective treatment option for plantar fasciitis. Not putting weight on the affected foot until the preliminary swelling subsides is another suggestion. To help alleviate symptoms, apply ice three or four times a day for 20 minutes each time. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications are frequently prescribed by doctors to treat this condition.

The American Orthopaedic Foot & Ankle Society, or AOFAS, notes that women are at a greater risk of developing plantar fasciitis, as are people who are overweight or spend a large amount of time walking or standing on hard surfaces at work. Other risk factors include having flat feet or high arches and walking or running for exercise.