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What is Plantar Fasciitis - Arch Pain? Print E-mail
Written by Gary Presant, MD   
Monday, 05 October 2009

Arch pain is caused by an inflammation of the plantar arch, or fascia. The condition is also called plantar fasciitis. The plantar arch is a thick membrane that covers and supports the muscles of the sole of the foot.
What is going on in the body?

The plantar arch starts at the heel bone and runs to the base of the toes. Arch pain occurs when this membrane becomes worn down due to constant strain. This causes pain in the arch of the foot. A person will often feel pain in the heel as well.
What are the causes and risks of the condition?

The causes and risk of arch pain include:
- problems with physical training. This can include rapidly increasing mileage when running, running on steep hills, or wearing improper footwear.
- abnormal anatomy and position and of the foot
- certain types of arthritis
- obesity

What are the treatments for the condition?

Treatment of arch pain includes rest, ice, and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications,or NSAIDs. Wearing shoes that fit properly is important. Also, padded heel cups or other devices inserted into the shoe may be needed. In some cases stretching exercises or physical therapy may be helpful. A injection of corticosteroids to the area may help reduce pain and inflammation.
What are the side effects of the treatments?

NSAIDs can cause stomach upset and allergic reactions. Repeated injections of corticosteroids can cause damage to the tissues.
What happens after treatment for the condition?

The person should reduce physical activity until symptoms have improved. When symptoms are gone, the individual can start slowly to return to normal activities.
How is the condition monitored?

A person with this condition can monitor his or her symptoms at home.

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