Plantar fasciitis is one of the most common forms of heel pain. It typically affects just one foot at a time and feels like a sharp stabbing pain in the heel. The first few steps in the morning are often the worst.
Plantar fasciitis is caused by an inflammation of the plantar fascia, a band of tissue that runs across the bottom of the foot, connecting the heel bone to your toes. It also provides support to your arch.
Common causes of plantar fasciitis are standing or walking on hard surfaces for long periods of time, obesity, pregnancy and wearing shoes with poor arch support. Plantar fasciitis is also very common among runners and dancers.
Immediate relief is often achieved by gently stretching the plantar fascia. Rolling a cold can of soda or beer back and forth with your foot stretches the tissue, while the cold reduces inflammation. Avoid walking barefoot and on the balls of your feet, which increases tension on the plantar fascia and can increase the pain and inflammation in your heel.
Long term solutions are weight loss, regular stretching, and wearing shoes with orthotics for good arch and heel support. Severe cases may require physiotherapy.