Plantar fasciitis is the tissue at the bottom of the foot and connects through the toes and the heel bone. When this tissue gets inflamed, the heel begins to pain and this condition is referred to as plantar fasciitis. The pain in the heel is at its peak when you step out of bed first thing in the morning, after a jogging session or after a game of tennis. The pain is severe early in the morning because the tissue contracts during the night and this pain might occur after long periods of standing or while getting up after sitting for a long period. The plantar fascia is called the shock absorber of the feet and supports the arch of the feet. If too much of stress is applied to that shock absorber, it gets inflamed. The major causes contributing to this condition:
Arthritis: People with arthritis tend to suffer with this condition as it causes inflammation to the tendons of the feet.
Excessive physical activity: While indulging in excessive physical activity, the heel bone and the soft tissue on the foot get stressed out too much and lead to plantar fasciitis. Too much strain can be caused while jogging, climbing stairs and walking.
Foot shape: Few people have flat feet and therefore have an odd style of walking thus causing strain to the foot due to uneven distribution of weight on each of the foot.
Ill fitting footwear: Footwear with high heels is a major contributor to feet strain and improper fitting footwear can also cause strain to the feet.
The symptoms for the above condition sets in slowly on one foot, though there are cases where in the pain sets in severely all of a sudden. The following are the most common symptoms:
In normal course home treatment is suggested for such cases; in extreme cases doctors suggest other treatments other than home treatment.
The plantar fascia is a thin band of tissue that supports the arch of the feet. When this tissue is inflamed or torn, there is heel pain and discomfort. Heel spurs are a common cause for Plantar fasciitis. They are soft calcium deposits that are formed due to inflammation and tension in the heel region. By themselves, heel spurs do not cause pain. Pain associated with plantar fasciitis is usually pronounced on waking up in the morning. The pain is sharp and stabbing. There might be numbness and bruising too.
It can surface during periods of prolonged standing or activity. Causes for plantar fasciitis include ill-fitting shoes, flat feet or high arches or stress on the arch of the foot. Persons who are overweight are more at risk of developing plantar fasciitis as also those who spend a large part of the day on their feet. Sudden injury or lack of flexibility of calf muscles can also contribute to developing plantar fasciitis. Pregnant women, recreational athletes and persons who have suddenly gained weight are more at risk of developing plantar fasciitis.
It is essential to diagnose the condition correctly as the symptoms are sometimes similar to arthritis, heel bone damage or tarsal tunnel syndrome. X-rays aid in correctly identifying the cause for the pain. NSAIDs such as aspirin or ibuprofen are prescribed to alleviate the pain. Corticosteroids can give some relief. In severe cases of plantar fasciitis, the plantar fascia is detached from the heel bone. Wearing shoes with adequate arch support, rest and corrective exercises such as stretching and strengthening can help in relieving pain and inflammation. Use of ice pack and massage of the foot helps too. A night splint may be fixed to your calf and foot to stretch the leg effectively.
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Collection of Pages - Last revised Date: December 4, 2023