Putting Your Best Foot Forward on Prevention and Treatment of this Common Source of Pain
by ERIKA ALDRICH
Our feet are the basis of nearly everything we do, and if you experience recurring foot pain it can put a real damper on your everyday life. Plantar fasciitis is one of the most common causes of foot pain, and it’s a major issue for many people. Test your knowledge of plantar fasciitis by taking our quiz and learn about options for relieving and treating plantar fasciitis—or preventing the condition in the first place— so that you can always put your best foot forward.
- Where on the foot does plantar fasciitis cause a stabbing pain?
- All over the foot
[toggles title=”Answer”]B. Heel. Plantar fasciitis causes stabbing pain in the heel, usually after exercise or right after getting up in the morning. [/toggles]
- True or False? Plantar fasciitis in the foot is caused by a heel spur, a calcium deposit causing a bony protrusion on the underside of the heel bone.
[toggles title=”Answer”]False. It was once thought heel spurs caused plantar fasciitis, but people with heel spurs have been shown to not have pain from plantar fasciitis.[/toggles]
- Plantar fasciitis is caused by which of the following?
- Inflammation, irritation, and tears in a thick band of tissue, the plantar fascia ligament, that runs across the bottom of the foot and connects the heel bone to the toes
- Warts on the arch of the foot
- An irregular walking pattern caused by hammer toes
- Low iron and anemia
[toggles title=”Answer”]A. Inflammation, irritation, and tears to the plantar fascia ligament. The damage caused by stress on the ligament causes the pain.[/toggles]
- True or False? Women are more likely to suffer from plantar fasciitis.
[toggles title=”Answer”]True. Women are more likely to suffer from plantar fasciitis.[/toggles]
- Which is not a risk factor for developing plantar fasciitis?
- Age: Being between the ages of 40 and 60
- Physical Activity: Certain exercises, like running, and jobs with a lot of standing
- Physical Inactivity: Lack of exercise
- Obesity: Extra pounds put stress on your plantar fascia
- Foot Mechanics: Abnormal foot issues like flat foot, high arches, and more
[toggles title=”Answer”]C. Physical Inactivity. Risk of plantar fasciitis is increased with age, weight, physical activity, and abnormal foot mechanics.[/toggles]
- True or False? Stretching is generally the best treatment for plantar fasciitis.
[toggles title=”Answer”]True. Stretching the plantar fascia ligament and surrounding muscles is generally the best treatment for plantar fasciitis.[/toggles]
- Fill-In-The-Blanks: The first line of treatments for plantar fasciitis also includes ____________ and ____________.
- Exercise and surgery
- Ice and over-the-counter medications
- Injections and therapy
- Rest and relaxation
- None of the Above
[toggles title=”Answer”]B. Ice and over-the-counter medications are the first line of treatment for plantar fasciitis.[/toggles]
- Which of the following is not a basic, conservative therapy for treating plantar fasciitis?
- Physical therapy stretches and exercises
- Night splints that stretch the calf and the arch of the foot during sleep
- Off-the-shelf or custom-fitted orthotics to support the arch
- Custom walking casts
[toggles title=”Answer”]D. Custom walking casts. Physical therapy, night splints, and orthotics are all second-tier treatments for plantar fasciitis.[/toggles]
- Approximately how many Americans are treated for plantar fasciitis every year?
- 1 million
- 2 million
- 4 million
- 5 million
[toggles title=”Answer”]B. 2 million are treated every year for plantar fasciitis. [/toggles]
- Which of the following is not a progressive treatment for plantar fasciitis?
- Steroid injections to temporarily relieve pain
- Replacement surgery to replace the tissue
- Extracorporeal shock wave therapy to stimulate healing
- Tenex procedure to remove scar tissue without surgery
- Surgery to detach the plantar fascia from the heel bone
[toggles title=”Answer”]B. Replacement surgery is not a treatment for plantar fasciitis. Higher-tier treatments for plantar fasciitis include steroid injections, extracorporeal shock wave treatments, a Tenex procedure, and surgery to detach the plantar fascia.[/toggles]
- Which of the following is a way to prevent plantar fasciitis?
- Maintain a healthy weight
- Choose supportive, shock-absorbing shoes, not high heel shoes
- Wear running shoes with adequate cushioning
- Avoid high-impact sports
- All of the Above
[toggles title=”Answer”]E. All of the above. Preventing plantar fasciitis includes maintaining a healthy weight, wearing supportive shoes, and avoiding high-impact exercises.[/toggles]
Resources: Information courtesy of The Mayo Clinic, the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, the American Orthopaedic Foot and Ankle Society.