Plantar Fasciitis

Dealing with RA, it’s easy to write-off any and all pain as somehow related to the disease.  However, when my heels started hurting, my first thought was, “Wait a minute!  The heel isn’t a joint!”  Then the arches of my feet decided to join the party, and I learned a new itis.

The plantar fascia is a ligament on the bottom of the foot that connects the toes to the heels.  When the plantar fascia gets inflamed – there are many potential causes, but RA is sufficient – you get plantar fasciitis.  Your rheumatologist should be told, but you don’t have to wait for a doctor’s appointment to get relief.

Here are links to a couple educational articles on this topic:

More important than education, is relief.  Stretches and strenghtening exercises are well worth doing.  Toe curls and extensions, calf and heel stretches, marble pickups, and more.  These are not difficult.  If you don’t want the full articles, skip straight to the pages with stretches and exercises that will provide some relief (or even prevent the problem from ever occurring):

As the articles mention, cortisone shots are an option for pain relief.  I’m a big fan of cortisone injections in the shoulders and hips, but not in the feet.  The stretches work. They’re free (you don’t even need PT for these). You can do them at home.  Well worth taking the time!