You may not even be familiar with the term “plantar fasciitis,” but you’re almost certainly familiar with the condition. It’s one of the most common orthopedic complaints that doctors and chiropractors hear about.

The name is drawn from the plantar fascia ligaments in your leg that support the arch of your foot, acting as a kind of shock absorber when you walk or run. As you might expect, these ligaments get daily workouts, and as such, experience a lot of wear and tear over time. Sooner or later, there’s bound to be a problem, and that problem expresses itself in the form of sharp, shooting pain in your heel or in the middle of your foot.

While anyone can develop the condition, it’s most common in people who are overweight, or people who jog or run regularly. It also occurs regularly in people who have very active jobs that see them on their feet for several hours of each day. Finally, although this does not describe a huge percentage of people, if you have high arches or flat feet, you are more likely to develop the condition.

If you experience sharp, shooting pain in your heel or the middle area of your foot, especially first thing in the morning when you get out of bed and take your first steps, odds are good that you have it. Although, you should consult your doctor or chiropractor to be certain.

It can be treated at home by staying off your feet as much as possible and applying ice for up to twenty minutes at a time, three to four times a day. Adding stretching to your morning routine can help, as can wearing arch supports in your shoes. For pain relief, Ibuprofen, Motrin, Advil or Aleve (NSAIDS) work best to reduce the inflammation in your ligaments.

If the pain is severe, your doctor or chiropractor can offer additional forms of treatment, but in the vast majority of cases, the home remedies mentioned above will get the job done.

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