Plantar fasciitis is one of the most common explanations of heel pain. It is caused by inflammation to the thick band that connects the toes to the heel bone, called the plantar fascia, which runs
across the bottom of your foot. The condition is most commonly seen in runners, pregnant women, overweight people, and individuals who wear inadequately supporting shoes. Plantar fasciitis typically
affects people between the ages of 40 and 70. Plantar fasciitis commonly causes a stabbing pain in the heel of the foot, which is worse during the first few steps of the day after awakening. As you
continue to walk on the affected foot, the pain gradually lessens. Usually, only one foot is affected, but it can occur in both feet simultaneously. To diagnose plantar fasciitis, your doctor will
physically examine your foot.
It usually starts following an increase in activity levels. Increase in weight. Standing for long periods. Poor footwear. Tight muscle groups. Abnormal pressure on the plantar Fascia can be caused by
any of the above. The plantar fascia becomes inflamed and tiny rips can occur where it attaches into the inside of the heel bone. The area becomes inflamed and swollen, and it is the increase in
fluid to the area that accumulates when weight is taken off the area that then causes the pain on standing.
If you have Plantar Fasciitis, you will most likely feel a sharp pain under the ball of you heel and it will often give pain when standing after a period of rest. For example when you get out of bed
in the mornings or after being sat down. Some patients describe this feeling as a stone bruise sensation, or a pebble in the shoe and at times the pain can be excruciating. Patients with Plantar
Fasciitis can experience pain free periods whereby the think they are on the mend, only for the heel pain to come back aggressively when they appear to have done nothing wrong. If your plantar
fasciitis came on very suddenly and the pain is relentless, then you may have Plantar Fascial Tears. We will be able to differentiate between these 2 conditions, sometimes with ultra sound imaging.
The treatment for each of these conditions will need to be very different.
Most cases of plantar fasciitis are diagnosed by a health care provider who listens carefully to your description of symptoms. During an examination of your feet, your health care provider will have
to press on the bottom of your feet, the area most likely to be painful in plantar fasciitis. Because the pain of plantar fasciitis has unique characteristics, pain upon rising, improvement after
walking for several minutes, pain produced by pressure applied in a specific location on your foot but not with pressure in other areas, your health care provider will probably feel comfortable
making the diagnosis based on your symptoms and a physical examination. Your health care provider may suggest that you have an X-ray of your foot to verify that there is no stress fracture causing
Non Surgical Treatment
Treatments you can do at home include rest. Try to avoid activities that put stress on your feet. This can be hard, especially if your job involves being on your feet for hours at a time, but giving
your feet as much rest as possible is the first step in reducing the pain of plantar fasciitis. Use ice or a cold compress to reduce pain and inflammation. Do this three or four times a day for about
20 minutes at a time until the pain goes away. Take anti-inflammatory medications. Painkillers such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen can help relieve pain and reduce inflammation in the affected area.
Your doctor may also prescribe a medication called a corticosteroid to help treat severe pain. Exercise your feet and calves. When the pain is gone, do calf and foot stretches and leg exercises to
make your legs as strong and flexible as possible. This can help you avoid getting plantar fasciitis again. Ask your coach, athletic trainer, or a physical therapist to show you some leg exercises.
Rolling a tennis ball under your foot can massage the area and help the injury heal. Talk to your doctor about shoe inserts or night splints. Shoe inserts can give your feet added support to aid in
the healing process. Night splints keep your calf muscles gently flexed, helping to keep your plantar fascia from tightening up overnight. Have a trainer or sports injury professional show you how to
tape your foot. A proper taping job allows your plantar fascia to get more rest. You should tape your foot each time you exercise until the pain is completely gone. For people who get repeated sports
injuries, it can help to see a sports medicine specialist. These experts are trained in evaluating things like an athlete's running style, jumping stance, or other key moves. They can teach you how
to make the most of your body's strengths and compensate for any weaknesses. Once you're healed, look for the silver lining in your bench time. You may find that what you learn from having an injury
leads you to play a better game than ever before.
More invasive procedures to treat plantar fasciitis are usually sought only after other treatment has failed to produce favorable results. Corticosteroid injections deliver medicine into the injured
fascia to reduce pain. However, this treatment may weaken the plantar fascia and result in further damage. In addition, extracorporeal shock wave therapy (ESWT) is a treatment where sound waves are
sent through the damaged tissue in order to stimulate the damaged tissue and encourage healing. This method is relatively new in treating plantar fasciitis and your doctor will be able to tell you if
it is the right method for you. Lastly, surgery is the last option for those suffering from chronic or severe plantar fasciitis.
Plantar fasciitis can be a nagging problem, which gets worse and more difficult to treat the longer it's present. To prevent plantar fasciitis, run on soft surfaces, keep mileage increases to less
than 10 percent per week, and visit a specialty running shop to make sure you're wearing the proper shoes for your foot type and gait. It's also important to stretch the plantar fascia and Achilles