Plantar Fasciitis; the symptoms and treatment.
June 9th, 2016 by LOC Team
What is plantar fasciitis?
Some people may think that plantar fasciitis is just a doctors fancy name for heel pain. However, although the pain sometimes surfaces in your heel, it is actually caused by the thickening of the plantar fascia, which isn’t a fancy name for your heel! The plantar fascia is a band of tissue running right under the sole of your foot from your heel to your big toe.
This thickening can be caused by many things but most commonly it is caused by a recent injury or damage. It can also be due to a lot of smaller injuries building up over the years and it can be very painful!
What causes plantar fasciitis?
There are many different factors that can contribute to plantar fasciitis. While there are men that have plantar fasciitis, it is far more common in women and you are far more likely to have the condition as you age.
You are also more common to get the condition if you;
- Are on your feet for several hours a day
- Are overweight
- Take up a new exercise which dramatically increases or intensifies your exercise
- Tend to wear high-heeled shoes and switch to flat shoes abruptly
- Have a high arch or flat feet
- Have heel cords or tight Achilles tendons
So basically, there are many contributing factors that can cause plantar fasciitis. If you do a combination of the things mention above, it may well increase your chances of getting the condition.
What are the symptoms?
There are a few symptoms that you should be aware of if you think you may have plantar fasciitis. The first is that you may have a pain in the bottom of your foot, the pain is usually more noticeable at the centre or the front of the heel.
You may also experience something called first step pain. This can be when you first wake up in the morning, the first step you take after being sat down for a while or after exercising (especially in non-supportive shoes).
You should seek medical advice about plantar fasciitis if you are experiencing pain in your heel or in the bottom of your foot in any of the scenarios mentioned above. You should also seek medical advice if there is bruising or redness on your heel.
What is the treatment?
There are many ways of treating plantar fasciitis and most health care providers agree that the first steps of treatment should be quite conservative. This could be avoiding any exercise that is making the pain worse or perhaps wearing a heal cushion to provide support and cushioning to the area.
You may also be given stretches to perform 3-5 times a days which help to extend the heel cord. You can also be advised to apply ice packs to your heel and to massage the plantar fascia each night before bed. Night splints can also be used to hold your foot at a specific angle during sleep.
In some more extreme cases of the condition, patients may need to have ultrasound, steroid injections, shockwave therapy, walking casts and perhaps surgery. The treatment of plantar fasciitis is a slow process, most cases are resolved in about a year. It is only when the more conservative approach hasn’t worked, that you may need surgery.
We hope that this article has been helpful, if you think you have plantar fasciitis then seek medical advice as soon as possible to start getting treatment.
Please explore our website for more advice on other medical conditions.
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