What is Plantar Fasciitis?
A plantar fascia is a ligament that connects the front of the foot to the heel. This long and thin ligament which is beneath the bottom of the skin provides support to the arch of the foot. It works like a rubber band and if it is short then you have a high foot arch. If the band is long then the arch will be flat or low. The plantar fascia is covered with fat that aids in absorbing any shocks on your feet. When there is damage to this plantar fascia it results in swelling and pain. Types of plantar fasciitis are acute and chronic.
Plantar Fasciitis Symptoms
One of the major symptoms of this inflammatory condition is pain at the bottom of one or both the feet. The symptoms are:
- Pain can also sometimes occur in the bottom midfoot area.
- The pain is sharp or sometimes dull and some also feel a burning sensation on the bottom of the foot. The ache can also extend from the base of the arch to the heel.
- Pain is seen while climbing the stairs.
- Can make running or even walking difficult.
- Taking steps after sitting or lying down for some time.
- Pain after doing some activity for a prolonged period of time. There is no pain during the activity but happens after an activity.
- The bottom of the foot becomes warm, swollen, and tender.
Who is at Risk?
A plantar fascia is a ligament that supports the arch of the foot and the muscles. When it gets stretched excessively it can get tears in the surface which results in inflammation and pain. The Plantar Fasciitis risk factors are:
- More for women than men
- People in the age group of 40 to 60 years are at a risk
- People who are obese or overweight
- Have a high arch or flat feet
- Walk unusually
- People who spend long hours standing
- Wear shoes that have thin soles or is worn out
- Women or men who wear high-heeled shoes
Plantar Fasciitis Causes
One of the most common reasons for plantar fasciitis is repetitive strain injury to the sole of the feet. That can happen due to:
- Excessive walking or running. A person commuting long-distance can face this problem and so are people who have a job of standing for a long time.
- It can be caused due to wrong or inadequate footgear. When a person runs or jumps using this footwear can get injured.
- It can be caused due to diseases like reactive arthritis and ankylosing spondylitis.
- Caused due to foot structure problems like having flat feet or high arches.
- The tightening of Achilles’ tendons also causes pain.
How is Plantar Fasciitis diagnosed?
A plantar fasciitis doctor who specializes in this field will do a plantar fasciitis diagnosis by conducting a physical examination of the tenderness in the feet. A detailed history of the pain, when it happens, and symptoms are enquired by the doctor. The exact location of the pain is determined by pushing the plantar fascia. Any redness or swelling is noted down followed by a check of the nerves and muscle strength by checking the muscle tone, reflexes, sense of sight, and touch, balance, and coordination. The other plantar fasciitis test includes:
- X-ray to check the bone structure.
- MRI scan to determine if there are any fractures.
- Ultrasound imaging also helps in diagnosing this inflammatory condition.
How is Plantar Fasciitis Treated?
Plantar fasciitis treatment involves:
- Placing ice packs on the area of pain
- Take enough rest and stop things like running, jumping, etc that results in pain
- Using splints at night so that it stretches the calf and foot.
- Physical therapy including exercises to stretch the fascia and strengthen the leg muscles.
- Take medicine for plantar fasciitis which aids in relieving pain. These can be non-steroidal.
- If the pain still persists, orthopedics may use steroids to reduce inflammation.
- Surgery may also be an option in the worst cases.
Contact our specialists at Cure.fit to know if the pain in your feet is due to an inflammatory condition. They will determine the cause of the pain and provide effective plantar fasciitis cure for the same. Additionally, all our experts are available through online consultations!
How can Plantar Fasciitis be prevented?
Plantar fasciitis prevention is easy and can be done by making some lifestyle changes. Some of the measures to avoid it are:
- Wearing shoes that have good arch support and are supportive of the feet.
- Regularly replace footwear so that the sole is in good condition. If you are a runner, change your pair every 400 to 500 miles.
- Maintain a healthy weight so that it reduces the pressure on your plantar fascia.
- Avoid exercises that cause pain in your feet. Replace them with low impact routines like swimming.
- Properly warm up your calves, tendons and plantar fascia before exercise.