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How Plantar Fasciitis Foot Pain Affects US Adults: A Data Study

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By: KURU Footwear

Plantar fasciitis—or inflammation of the band of tissue under our feet—is a condition that causes pain and inflammation in the heel of the foot. The most common symptoms of plantar fasciitis include pain, stiffness, and tenderness in the heel or arch of the foot. Other possible symptoms include swelling, redness, and warmth in the affected area.

The exact cause of plantar fasciitis is unknown, but it is believed to be caused by repeated strain or overuse of the tendon that connects your heel bone to your toes. Factors that may increase your risk of developing this condition include:

  • Age
  • Over exercising or under exercising
  • Having flat feet or high arches
  • A person’s weight
  • Wearing shoes with poor support or shock absorption

If you are experiencing any symptoms of plantar fasciitis, it is important to seek treatment to prevent complications and reduce your risk of long-term damage.

Plantar fasciitis treatment typically includes rest, icing the affected area, stretching exercises, wearing supportive footwear, and taking over-the-counter pain medications. Some may also benefit from physical therapy or steroid injections to help relieve inflammation and promote healing.

Plantar Fasciitis in the United States

About two million people are treated for plantar fasciitis each year in the US. This condition is more prevalent among certain age groups, particularly those in their 40s and 50s.

Plantar fasciitis pain has several possible causes, including occupational factors such as standing or walking for extended periods on hard surfaces, genetic predisposition, having flat feet or high arches, or underlying health conditions like excess weight or diabetes.

Regardless of the underlying cause, however, effective treatments are available for managing this condition and reducing its impact on people’s lives.

A Study of 812 People With Plantar Fasciitis

plantar fasciitis survey

  • 85% of adults that report having plantar fasciitis have been formally diagnosed.
  • Here are a few of the most common ways adults have received a plantar fasciitis diagnosis. In some cases, more than one method may have been used to reach the final diagnosis:
      • 66% Clinical Diagnosis
      • 40% X-Ray
      • 20% Self-Diagnosis
      • 17% CT Scan
      • 14% Ultrasound
      • 14% MRI Scan
      • 1% “Other”
  • The following conditions are also common in adults with plantar fasciitis. In some cases, an adult may have reported more than one condition.
Condition% of Adults with Plantar Fasciitis Who Also Experience the Condition
Back Pain57%
Arthritis39%
Knee Pain38%
Heel Pain32%
Hip Pain23%
Diabetes22%
Flat Feet21%
Heel Spurs17%
Bunions16%
Fibromyalgia10%
Hammer Toe7%
Neuropathy6%
Morton’s Neuroma4%

Pain Findings

Plantar fasciitis pain can range in severity and become worse at certain times of the day. Here our findings on how adults with plantar fasciitis reported their pain.

plantar fasciitis survey pain findings

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  • The majority (60%) of adults with plantar fasciitis report that they’ve experienced foot pain as a result of this condition for six or more months.
  • 1 in 7 adults (14%) with plantar fasciitis has experienced foot pain for five or more years.
  • Here are the most common areas of the foot that adults with plantar fasciitis experience foot pain. They are ordered from most to least common. These adults may have experienced pain in more than one area of the foot.
      • Under the Heel (55%)
      • Underneath the Arch (52%)
      • Upper Heel (38%)
      • At the Ball of the Foot (31%)
      • At the Toes (16%)

 

  • Adults with plantar fasciitis report experiencing pain throughout the day and night. Below are the most commonly reported times to experience pain:
      • In the afternoon between 12 p.m.– 5 p.m. (47%)
      • The evening between 5 p.m.–9 p.m. (46%)
      • In the early morning between 5 a.m.– 9 a.m. (39%)
      • In the late morning between 10 a.m.–12 p.m. (36%)
      • At night between 9 p.m.–4 a.m. (27%)
  • On average, people with plantar fasciitis report that their pain fluctuates between “moderate” and “severe” (Averaging between 4–6 on a pain scale)

Impacts on Daily Life Findings

plantar fasciitis survey impacts on daily life

  • A number of adults reported that their plantar fasciitis pain caused a disruption in their personal life (25%) or professional career (33%) more than once per week.

The careers most common among those with plantar fasciitis (top 10) are:

  1. Health Care and Social Assistance
  2. Finance and Insurance
  3. Education
  4. Software
  5. Information – Services and Data
  6. Construction
  7. Hotel and Food Services
  8. Wholesale
  9. Manufacturing – Other
  10. Retail

Expenses Findings

plantar fasciitis survey expenses findings

  • 9 in 10 adults (93%) with plantar fasciitis spend money each month to treat their pain. This includes podiatrist visits, treatments, medications, orthotics, etc.
      • 40% spend less than $100 per month on plantar fasciitis related expenses.
      • 25% (1 in 4) spend between $100–$250 per month on plantar fasciitis related expenses.
      • 28% spend $250 or more per month on plantar fasciitis related expenses.

Treatment Findings

As an inflammatory condition, plantar fasciitis can be tricky to treat, but there are some stand-by treatments ready to help. The most common treatments for plantar fasciitis include ice, stretching exercises, compression socks, OTC medication, and activity modification.

plantar fasciitis survey treatment findings

Most common treatments for plantar fasciitis, and the percentage of adults who have tried the treatment.

Treatment% of Adults with Plantar Fasciitis Who Have Tried the Treatment
Ice88.9%
Stretching Exercises86.2%
Compression Sock / Foot Sleeve83.4%
Over-the-counter medication80.4%
Activity modification75.7%
Physical Therapy70.9%
Orthotic / insert brought in a shop70.5%
Bracing67.0%
Prescribed Medication(s)65.5%
Orthotic / insole provided by a specialist62.2%
Orthotic / insole custom-made to a mold61.7%
Orthotic / insole bought on the internet60.9%
Injection – steroid59.3%
Night splint59.2%
Acupuncture55.0%
Extracorporeal Shock Wave Therapy50.8%
Physiotherapy50.5%
Shockwave therapy47.1%
Platelet-Rich Plasma Injection45.5%
Surgery43.2%

Methodology

KURU Footwear surveyed 812 Americans 18 years and older with Plantar Fasciitis. The survey has a margin of error of +/- 2% and a confidence level of 95%.

The survey results were weighted to reflect characteristics of the United States population using available data from the US Census.

Sources & Plantar Fasciitis Resources:

About Us

At KURU, we’re on a mission to help you Heel Better™ with footwear technology designed to relieve foot pain, so you can live a life you love. Since launching our innovative technology in 2008, we’ve received more than 31,000 five-star reviews from thousands of customers who tell us their KURU shoes helped them with conditions (such as plantar fasciitis) and got them back to doing what they love. Explore our comparison guide to find the best shoes for plantar fasciitis for you.

For all media inquiries, please contact us at pr@kurufootwear.com.

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