FEELING A STABBING PAIN near your heel when you step out of bed in the morning or when you get up from your desk? You might have developed plantar fasciitis, one of the most common foot injuries facing athletes today. “It’s the complaint that brings patients to a podiatrist’s office the most often,” says Megan Leahy, D.P.M., a podiatrist at the Illinois Bone & Joint Institute in Chicago. In fact, about one in 10 people will develop plantar fasciitis during their lifetime.
What is it?
Plantar fasciitis is an inflammation of the plantar fascia, the ligament that runs along the bottom of the foot. Normally this tissue absorbs shock and supports the arch of the foot, but if it is overstretched or strained, small tears in the tissue can lead to inflammation, causing pain and discomfort—especially where the fascia meets the heel bone or at the arch on the bottom of the foot. Most of the time, plantar fasciitis won’t affect you during exercise— you likely won’t feel it until you get home from the gym and are walking around your house or when you get out of bed first thing in the a.m. And the more you walk around on it, the better it starts to feel.
How does it happen?
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