How to Take Care of Plantar Fasciitis
First and foremost, the fibrous tissue, known as plantar fascia, is made up of three segments in the foot, all of which arise from the calcaneus, also known as the heel bone. Next, the plantar fascia, physically located at the bottom of the feet, connects the heel bone with the toes. Moreover, the fascia is important because it provides support for the foot’s arch and absorbs shock. Meanwhile, Plantar Fasciitis is an inflammation of the plantar fascia.
What is Plantar Fasciitis?
Most noteworthy, Plantar Fasciitis is an overuse injury from repetitive strain that causes micro tears of the plantar fascia. But it can also result from trauma.
Under normal circumstances, the plantar fascia acts like a shock-absorbing bowstring, supporting the arch in the foot. However, if tension and stress on that bowstring become too great, small tears can arise in the fascia. Moreover, repetitive stretching and tearing can cause the fascia to become irritated or inflamed. However, in many cases of plantar fasciitis, the cause isn't clear.
How Common is Plantar Fasciitis?
Plantar Fasciitis is the most common cause of heel pain. It is associated with inflammation of a thick band of tissue that runs across the bottom of the feet connecting the heel bone with the toes. Furthermore, it results in nearly a million visits a year to medical professionals for treatment. Meanwhile, 83 percent of these patients are active working adults between the ages of 25 and 65 years old. Also, it is often found in runners as well as older adults.
What are the Symptoms?
Most of all, plantar fasciitis causes a stabbing pain in the bottom of the feet near the heel. Also, this pain is worst in the first few steps after waking up in the morning. In addition, the pain is usually worse after exercise: not during it. Furthermore, 70 to 80 percent of patients see symptom reduction in 9 to 12 months. However, 5 to 10 percent require surgical treatment of the plantar fascia.
What are the Risk Factors?
Risk Factors Under Your Control
- 1First, long distance running puts a lot of stress on the heel and attached tissue. Indeed, this is especially true for those spending a lot of time running downhill or on uneven surfaces such as found in cross country running. So, if you can, replace these types of running activities by running on a treadmill.
- 2In addition, those participating in activities like ballistic jumping, aerobic dancing, and ballet also put a lot of stress on the heel and attached tissue.
- 3Next, even those who are not active are also at risk. In fact, when the foot is at rest, the plantar fascia shrinks. Moreover, not getting enough activity can cause plantar fascia to become less flexible. On the other hand, regular activity keeps the plantar fascia supple and strong.
- 4Meanwhile, others at risk include those whose jobs require them to stand long periods of time. For example, these jobs include factory workers, teachers, waiters, maids, kitchen workers, and construction workers.
- 5In addition, those who regularly carry heavy loads are also susceptible.
- 6Furthermore, those who are obese or overweight are also at risk. In fact, being overweight puts stress on the plantar fascia. Moreover, the greater the weight, the more is the stress.
- 7Finally, those wearing worn-out shoes put too much stress on the plantar fascia.
Risk Factors – Intrinsic
- 1First, plantar fasciitis is most common in people between the ages of 40 and 60 years.
- 2Also, more women experience plantar fasciitis than men.
- 3In addition, those who are flat footed.
- 4Or, who have a high arch or a low arch.
- 5Next, those with an abnormal pattern of walking can affect the way weight gets distributed and put added stress on the plantar fascia.
- 6Also, those with diabetes.
- 7In addition, those with weak plantar flexor muscles that put too much strain on the plantar fascia.
- 8Next, a tight Achille tendon limits the ankle’s range of motion. As a result, the foot is not able to fully flex, which eventually leads to tight plantar fascia. In fact, a study estimates that almost 80 percent of those with plantar fasciitis may have tight Achilles tendon.
- 9Meanwhile, those with different leg lengths are also at risk. In fact, their plantar fascia and other soft tissue, in the foot, are asymmetrically stressed and work harder to absorb shocks.
- 10Furthermore, tight calf muscles can also lead to plantar fasciitis.
- 11Finally, a condition that causes the arch of the foot to be hollow when standing.
How is Plantar Fasciitis Treated?
Without Medical Intervention
- 1First and foremost, if you are obese or overweight, lose the excess weight.
- 2Also, discard worn-out shoes. Indeed, replace them with shoes having good arch support and shock absorbing capabilities.
- 3Moreover, don’t walk barefoot on hard surfaces.
- 4And, if you wear high heels, get rid of them.
- 5Next, replace any high impact activities with low impact ones like swimming and bicycling.
- 6In addition, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs help with the pain and reduces inflammation of the plantar fascia.
- 7Furthermore, exercise to stretch and strengthen the plantar fascia, Achilles tendon, and lower leg muscles.
- 8Next, a physical therapist helps with massaging, contrast baths, or ultrasonography for long term healing.
- 9Furthermore, shoe inserts provide additional support to the arch of the foot. Consequently, these are helpful for those who stand much of the day.
- 10Finally, foot massagers provide relief in 10 to 15 minutes. Incidentally, the best thing about these, is that all you need to do is sit in the comfort of your home, while the foot massager relieves the effects of plantar fasciitis.
With Medical Intervention
- 1First, steroid injections help when the pain is severe or doesn’t respond to medications. For example, injections into the most painful part of the plantar fascia eases the pain for about a month. Meanwhile, the inflammation stays low for a longer time.
- 2Next, shock-wave therapy shocks the plantar fascia with sound waves. As a result, it stimulates blood flow and helps the tissue heal. Furthermore, the shock also stuns the nerves to stop pain.
- 3In addition, the Tenex Health TX involves making a small cut. Indeed, an ultrasound is used to target and remove scar tissue. However, you can get back to your normal schedule within 10 days.
- 4Lastly, there is surgery. As a last resort, if you have severe pain, surgery takes the plantar fascia off of the heel bone. Regrettably, this last resort weakens the arch of the foot.
Are there Exercises or Massages that Help?
Place a ball (such as a tennis ball or golf ball) under the foot and roll back and forth over the ball.