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Understanding the Risk Factors for Plantar Fasciitis 

Understanding the Risk Factors for Plantar Fasciitis 

If you’ve experienced plantar fasciitis — a condition that sends about two million Americans to a doctor each year — you know all too well the pain it causes. If you haven’t had plantar fasciitis, you want to protect yourself from it. 

As with most foot conditions, understanding your risks is the best way to avoid them. That is why our team at Neuhaus Foot and Ankle is taking this opportunity to highlight the common risks of plantar fasciitis.

Let’s take a look.

Plantar fasciitis basics

Let’s start by quickly reviewing what happens when you develop plantar fasciitis. Your plantar fascia is a tough band of tissue (ligaments) connecting your heels to the fronts of your feet. The tissue supports the arches in your feet and acts as a sort of shock absorber.

With plantar fasciitis, the tissue develops tiny tears that lead to inflammation. The inflammation typically sets in when your feet are at rest, such as when you sleep. When you wake up and take your first steps in the morning, the pain can be considerable as these tissues fight the inflammation and stretch back out. The discomfort typically subsides after a few steps, but it can create an unpleasant start to your day.

Risk factors for plantar fasciitis

Now, let’s look at how the damage and inflammation occur.

There are several risk factors for plantar fasciitis, including:

Overuse or a change in activity

Runners are no strangers to plantar fasciitis, which makes sense given that, over several miles, the plantar fascia extends and contracts thousands of times. Outside of running long mileage, if you suddenly intensify your running or switch surfaces, these abrupt changes can damage your plantar fascia.

Anatomical or gait issues

If you have high arches, you may be placing more strain on your plantar fascia, leaving them vulnerable to plantar fasciitis. Alternatively, if you have flatfeet, you may also be more susceptible to the condition.

Outside of these factors, weight challenges and tight calf muscles can also increase your risk of plantar fasciitis.

Prolonged standing or walking

Working at a job that has you on your feet on hard surfaces all day can overstress your plantar fascia.

Outside of these factors, weight challenges and tight calf muscles can also put you at increased risk of plantar fasciitis.

The good news is that many of these risks can be offset through custom orthotics or some tweaks to your lifestyle.

For a customized plantar fasciitis prevention plan, contact one of our offices in Hermitage, Brentwood, Nashville, Mount Juliet, Waverly, Smyrna, Gallatin, Columbia, Pulaski, Hendersonville, or Lebanon, Tennessee, to schedule an appointment.

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