Is Plantar Fasciitis a Disability?

Different studies have helped us in answering the question that;

Whether plantar fasciitis is a disability or not?

It all basically depends on various distinctive contexts and factors as researched over time. It has also been analyzed that a disability can be assumed as a medical injury, and can also be referred to as an acute or even minor limitation that is going to affect how people live their lives with this condition.

There are different legal classifications that need to be taken into account as an essential determinant of whether or not people are capable enough to receive the necessary benefits that include the Social Security disability benefits, as well as the other kinds of Veterans Administration advantages. According to different surveys and studies various types of the Plantar fasciitis (including acute and chronic) have been analyzed and are accounted as a medical disability as well as a legally-protected disability.

 A Little Overview of Plantar fasciitis:

Plantar fasciitis is known to be the main cause of heel pain. It is usually the inflammation of the ligament in the heel. The ligament connects the toes and heel bone which is referred to as the ligament, plantar fascia. Plantar fasciitis mainly occurs when there is pain and swelling in the ligament. This pain is usually intense in the morning or after rest. However, with walking, the pain decreases but it can return if you stand or walk for a long time. Plantar Fasciitis usually affects sport persons and runners.

Plantar Fasciitis, A Disability? – What are its causes?

Plantar Fasciitis Pain


One question which most of the patients with plantar fasciitis ask;

 Is plantar fasciitis a disability?

 The answer mainly depends on the context. A disability is classified into two categories; medical and legal. A medical disability refers to an inflammation or inflammation and how it’s limitation is affecting our daily life. On the other hand, is the legal disability that determines whether you are eligible to take benefits (including insurance, coverage and other disability benefits).

In this article, we’ll thoroughly discuss if plantar fasciitis qualifies as a disability or not and how we can manage and treat plantar fasciitis.

What Qualifies It as a Disability?

In the USA, ADA also known as the Americans with Disabilities Act describes disability as a mental or physical condition that “substantially limits one or more major life activities”. This also refers to the people with impairment, even if they do not have any disability. Furthermore, it also consists of people are not actually disable but are put under this category. 

In some cases, plantar fasciitis doesn’t qualify as a disability in a legal sense, but you yourself know that your suffering and pain is real. Plantar fasciitis or heel pain can be really incapacitating, which makes it really difficult to walk and perform daily activities.

Plantar fasciitis is classified as a legal disability if it qualifies you for the social security benefits in the United States. The conditions you are eligible for legal disability are:

  •       Your plantar fasciitis is severe which makes it impossible for you to walk, run or even stand.
  •       You can film that your condition has prevented you from being active for at least a year.
  •       Your plantar fasciitis has been checked by a professional doctor and formally diagnosed.
  •       For people aged over 50, your claim is much easier and faster.

How to Know if Plantar Fasciitis is a Disability or Not?

There are various opinions and theories about whether plantar fasciitis is a disability or not. This usually depends on the distinctive condition and location of the inflammation along with the severity of the pain. Moreover, it also depends on how much interference it is causing with your work.

Different factors combine to finalize whether your plantar fasciitis qualifies as a disability or not. In most cases – since plantar fasciitis can be treated fully – it is not qualified as a disability. However, some people do not treat it at times which worsens the condition leading to a permanent issue.

Can Plantar Fasciitis be a Permanent Disability?

Even if you have a little pain in your heel, pay a visit to a doctor. Plantar fasciitis might not seem like a severe issue at first, but with the absence of intervention, you can reach a point where you won’t be able to even stand up. Leaving your plantar fasciitis untreated can lead to severe consequences. This happens when the plantar fascia damages to such an extent that you can barely walk.

Thus, before your condition worsens and your plantar fasciitis converts into a permanent disability, get all the necessary treatments done.

Also Read : How Long Does Plantar Fasciitis Last?

What Are the Reasons Behind Plantar Fasciitis?

Different studies, doctors and healthcare professionals have analyzed the numerous causes leading to plantar fasciitis. It has been examined that one of the major causes are the shoes we use in our daily life. Shoes with substandard quality and arch support along with less cushioning can lead to plantar fasciitis.

Other than this, doctors also suggested other reasons that can cause plantar fasciitis like weight gain or obesity, sedentary lifestyles and excessive running, walking and standing. People whose jobs involve more standing and walking are also affected with plantar fasciitis. 

Some of the recent studies show that during the performance of the various tasks, there can be a spur on the calcaneus that can initiate plantar fasciitis. Different level of the repetitious strain has also been assumed to be the main cause that is causing tiny tears in the ligament as studied. Some of the tears that have been assumed to be the major cause of the pain which can also result in swelling and inflammation.

It has been studied that during the visit, different doctors enquire about the symptoms that a patient is experiencing in order to give a proper diagnosis. After the diagnosis, different doctors help the patients to learn about the different types of active factors and aspects for self-awareness about their condition. Several distinctive treatments have been suggested and are taken into account after conducting the tests and X-rays to highlight the problems or other issues. 

Treating Plantar Fasciitis:

Is Plantar Fasciitis a Disability?


Various different kinds of treatments have been considered to cure plantar fasciitis. From stretching to surgery, the doctors can opt for any depending on the severity of the condition. The treatment plans suggested for the patients with plantar fasciitis have often turned out to be successful, even if the condition is critical. 

There are several alternatives that can assist in curing plantar fasciitis. Some of the most frequently used therapies for plantar fasciitis are: 

  •       Stretching
  •       NSAIDs
  •       Night splints

Night splints are considered as one of the finest options for relieving the pain caused by plantar fasciitis. According to the studies, night splints are considered as the most effective treatment for plantar fasciitis. Almost one-third of the patients have felt better after using night splints regularly. Since the night splints keep the ankle in a dorsi-flexed position, therefore, the pain comparatively relieves quickly.

Moreover, stretching exercises are also advised by the physiotherapists for smooth muscle movement. The stretching exercises are usually advised to prevent the foot from stiffness.

Besides, the doctor also recommends NSAIDs to relieve the intense pain. Medicines help in relieving the pain temporarily. Along with the medicines, patients are also advised to exercise and stretch.

Other than the treatments mentioned above, the practitioners also recommend treatments like: 

  •       Orthotics
  •       Therapeutic shoes
  •       Physical therapy

 All these treatments have been considered to be the most successful treatments for plantar fasciitis. Doctors often opt for the remedies and treatments mentioned above for mild cases of plantar fasciitis as well as profound ones.

In some cases, a short leg cast is also applied for three to six weeks that helps in the reduction of the pain and inflammation caused by the disorder. Multiple kinds of steroid injections provide permanent relief in some cases where patients have unmanageable fascia pain. Some individuals might undergo surgery to detach the plantar fascia from their heel bone for pain relief. However, one might suffer ruptured plantar fascia and severe pain after these treatments. 

Surgery comes with additional risks like infections and nerve injuries which is why doctors suggest another form of treatment like extracorporeal shock wave therapy. It is basically a non-invasive and non-surgical therapy that is less painful than surgery, therefore, most doctors often recommend this over the operation. ExtraCorporeal Shock Wave Therapy has been quite successful with almost 82% of the patients being fully recovered after the treatment. 


Thus, from the above discussion we can conclude that plantar fasciitis can be considered as a disability if the condition worsens in the absence of the treatment. 

There are numerous distinctive treatment methods that can help in the quick recovery of the inflammation of plantar fascia tissue. Thus, in case of heel pain or plantar fascia inflammation, it is better to see the doctor on time, rather than making the condition worse and turning it into a disability. 


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