If you stand for great lengths during the day, or are an avid walker or runner it is possible that you may develop a condition known as plantar fasciitis at some point in your life.

One of the telltale signs of plantar fasciitis is severe pain in the heel of your foot – which is especially noticeable first thing in the morning as you get out of bed. The condition is caused by inflammation of the sole of your foot. The tough tissues that run between your heel bone and your toes is also known as the fascia.

Plantar fasciitis is more common in female patients and those that are overweight; it can also be caused by standing on hard surfaces for long periods of time and by not stretching your calf muscles prior to running and walking.  Symptoms will typically begin very gradually with a slight pain in your heel that evolves into a stronger pain after sitting or sleeping for a significant amount of time.

The best way to treat your plantar fasciitis is to stretch regularly and well.  If you’ve already developed pain and swelling, you should probably stay off of your foot until the inflammation subsides.  Ice and ibuprofen or naproxen may help this. Your physician or physical therapist can recommend the best stretches for your foot.

Most instances of plantar fasciitis improve on their own within a few weeks of beginning treatment and stretching exercises. However, in rare instances, your physician may recommend heel injections of anti-inflammatory medication to completely kick the symptoms. Your physician may also recommend that you purchase insoles or other shoe inserts to prevent the condition from reoccurring.