Overview of Plantar Fasciitis
The plantar fascia is a band of connective tissue on the bottom of the foot that helps form the arch of the foot. Acute injury or cumulative trauma to the plantar fascia can be a cause of inflammation and heel pain. This is called plantar fasciitis.
Signs & Symptoms
Symptoms of plantar fasciitis include pain in the heel of the foot. Some people complain of a sharp stabbing pain especially with walking. Others describe the pain as a dull ache after prolonged standing. The pain of plantar fasciitis is often worst in the morning or following activity.
Stretching the plantar fascia and the calf muscle area can help to prevent inflammation. Slowly increasing the amount or intensity of athletic activities by graded progression can also help to prevent injury.
Recommended Stretches: Taking a lunge position with the injured foot behind and keeping your heels flat on the floor, lean into a wall and bend the knees. A stretch should be felt in the sole and in the Achilles tendon area. Hold the stretch for 20-30 seconds. Also try this stretch with the back leg straight.
Cut back on walking, running or athletic weight bearing activities. Try the recommended stretches above. Shoes with a good arch support and heel cushioning or over-the-counter orthotics may help. Icing the area of pain or taking a short course of anti-inflammatory medications such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen will help with pain.
If treatments do not help, a doctor can suggest other options.
How We Can Help
- If you would like to be seen by our medical staff, please contact our Appointment Desk to schedule an appointment.
- Also, our Advice Nurse service is available at no charge for all UC Davis students to discuss health concerns and the need for medical care.
- Plantar Fasciitis: A Common Cause of Heel Pain (American Academy of Family Physicians)
- Plantar Fasciitis (American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons)