What is Plantar Fasciitis? Causes, Symptoms and Treatment
Plantar fasciitis is a condition wherein there is pain radiating from the plantar fascia; this is a band of tissue that connects the small bones of the toes to the large heel bone. Any type of strain and unusually prolonged positioning of the plantar fascia often results to plantar fasciitis. This is one of the common causes of heel pain.
For those who are asking what is plantar fasciitis, it is a condition that affects middle – aged people who may have spent most of their lives walking, running or dancing. This condition, however, may also affect young people who may be using their foot a lot like athletes who do a lot of walking and soldiers who are on their feet most of the time.
Learning about plantar fasciitis starts by taking note of the possible cause of this painful condition. Straining of the ligaments located near the arc of the foot can lead to plantar fasciitis. These ligaments strain and tears leading to severe pain, massive inflammation and swelling; ultimately there will be a loss of function, reduced mobility, and stress that can affect the person’s daily life. Let’s make it clear.
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What is Plantar Fasciitis Cause?
Plantar fasciitis may be due to the following situations:
- Excessive pronation of the feet when a person walks could lead to plantar fasciitis. This is common when the feet rolls inward as you walk.
- People who are born with flat feet or feet with high arches are more likely to suffer from this condition since the arc of the foot is forced to steady the person’s balance and gait.
- People who walk or stand on hard surfaces are also more likely to develop plantar fasciitis.
- Ill fitting shoes, wearing worn out shoes or shoes that do not offer enough support when you walk or run. These could be a huge problem. Plantar fasciitis may develop and may worsen until you wear the most appropriate shoes.
- If you are overweight chances are the weight of your body bears down on your lower extremities especially on your foot causing plantar fasciitis.
- Having tight calf muscles as a result of injury or prolonged exercise may also lead to overbearing on your foot causing plantar fasciitis.
What are Plantar Fasciitis Symptoms?
Plantar fasciitis is the most common cause of pain on the heel of the foot. The plantar fascia may also be referred to as the arc of the foot. Actually, it is a piece of the ligament that connects the bone of the toes to the heel. Strain can weaken the plantar fascia and may lead to irritation, inflammation, swelling and will ultimately lead to pain. Hallmark pain described as stabbing, striking and numbing is the most common plantar fasciitis symptom.
If you are an athlete that does a lot of running, walking or dancing or if you walk or dance for long periods of time then you should be aware of symptoms of fasciitis. Learning about these will help you determine whether you are suffering from the simple heel or foot pain or if you have plantar fasciitis.
Plantar Fasciitis Symptoms
- Pain– there is a pain whenever you take your first steps in the morning; the plantar fascia tends to tighten as you lie on your back at night but as you wake up and stand at night, it stretches and this leads to pain. The foot muscles warm up as you move about when you wake up but as the day moves on and you walk, run, jump or dance, you will feel excruciating pain again. Some people who have plantar fasciitis may even have pain as they climb flights of stairs or even when they just stand still.
- Stiffness – there is also the noticeable stiffness of the arc of the foot since there is inflammation present in the affected area. Stiffness is also a huge deal when you wake up in the morning but will gradually disappear as you go about your daily routines.
- Heat– the arc of the foot and the foot itself is warm to the touch which is due to the inflammation of the plantar fascia. The foot also appears to be very sensitive to the touch especially when there is swelling present.
- Immobility– you may not be able to move your foot like the way you can before. You may resort to limping, failing and using supports when you walk. This limited movement leads to reduced activities; pain may cause a person to miss work, cause him to pass activities at home and at work and could also add stress to his everyday life.
- Irritability and lack of concentration– needless to say, that pain will eventually lead to irritability and loss of concentration. Pain may be so severe that it could totally affect the life of a person. Stress may also add to becoming more irritable and possibly changes in mood.
- Changes in gait– as you feel pain and pain are not resolved by taking medications or other treatments, you will soon find changes in the way you walk and the way you balance yourself. This is why early consultation is the best way to treat plantar fasciitis symptoms and to get rid of the terrible pain once and for all.
What is Plantar Fasciitis Best Treatment?
The best possible way to determine the best treatment for your plantar fasciitis is to contact a specialist that deals with conditions of the foot. He will first make an accurate diagnosis based on interviews, your past and present medical condition, a closer look at your symptoms and of course the cause of your condition.
A specialist will also make his diagnosis based on your past health conditions, the way you walk, jump or run and may also consider any significant physical injuries that you may have had. Your doctor may refer you to a physical therapist for further treatment. Of course, long-term techniques to manage pain, swelling, stiffness and all the other symptoms that may be associated with plantar fasciitis. Alternative treatments and exercises may also be advised to gain total control over severe pain.
Simple Ways For The Treatment Of Plantar Fasciitis
Plantar fasciitis may be an uncommon terminology but it is one of the most common conditions millions of people all over the world are facing. Have you ever experienced acute pain in the heels of your foot after you take the first few steps early in the morning? Have you ever felt inflammation in your feet when you try and walk after sitting for long? These are common symptoms of plantar fasciitis which I’ve explained earlier.
Most times due to work pressures and because of the hurry to get to work and start the day, we ignore the pain. We pop a pain killer if it’s too much to bear and eventually as the day pans out we forget about the pain in the heels. This is one of the most common causes of aggravating the condition of plantar fasciitis resulting in consultations with the doctor or treating it with home remedies when the pain gets too much to handle.
What To Avoid When Treating Plantar Fasciitis…
These are a few things that people usually end up doing to treat plantar fasciitis. If you actually want to know How To Treat Plantar Fasciitis, you must avoid the following things: –
- Do not take advice from the doctors who prescribe painkillers or night splints as solutions to your condition. True, doctors have more knowledge and expertise about treating pain, but that’s all they do- TREAT PAIN. The cause of the condition remains untreated while the symptoms are getting treated. Once the effect of the painkillers wears off the symptoms are back and sometimes they worsen. Night splints too can relieve you from the pain for you to function properly but the day you stop using them, the pain comes back.
- Exercising too much can be dangerous as well. People generally tend to associate the inflammation and the pain in the heels with obesity and start exercising with vigor. This causes further inflammation of the tendons in the foot muscles thus aggravating the situation. Certain foot exercises are the only way to relieve the pain from the heel. Jogging and weight lifting can cause added pressure to the heel and can cause muscle tear.
Simple Ways To Treat Plantar Fasciitis…
How to treat plantar fasciitis is not as complicated as one may think. By doing a few simple things you can not only alleviate the pain but also take care of the core problem once and for all: –
- Wearing shoes that fit well with padded. Cushioned heels can help you take the pressure off your heels. It also helps to relieve the pain.
- By exercising the foot muscles by doing calf stretches and toes curls, you can strengthen the foot muscles and get rid of plantar fasciitis once and for all. Simple exercises like a rotary ball to the heels and trying to lift marbles with toes can help alleviate the pain from the foot.
- Following a proper nutritious diet with fish oils and omega- 3 acids will help the body get nutrition to fight the symptoms from within.