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Plantar Fasciitis

What's that pain in your foot with every step? It could be plantar fasciitis. Plantar fasciitis happens when the plantar fascia, the stretchy band that helps support the arch of the foot, is placed under too much stress due to inadequate support in our shoes. Some people have a very high arch and therefore may require extra support in their shoes with removable inserts. Others have a low arch or flatter feet and never seem to have problems. When the plantar fascia is placed under undue stress for long periods of time, it can pull on the heel bone where it attaches and actually cause heel spurs, which can lead to more pain in the heel area when left untreated.

So how do you prevent and treat plantar fasciitis? In order to prevent it, it's very important to have adequate support in your shoes and avoid going barefoot. The average shoe has no arch support in it, but over-the-counter inserts can be added to certain types of shoes and provide many people with relief. Others may have to see a foot specialist, a podiatrist, for more custom insert options. Often a podiatrist will prescribe nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, such as ibuprofen, to aid in reduction of inflammation. This coupled with properly worn supportive inserts can often provide a solution for those suffering from plantar fasciitis and/or heel spurs. Occasionally, though, some patients will require surgery to lengthen the plantar fascia when more conservative modalities fail.

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