Plantar Fascia is the name of a thick connective tissue that is present in the foot that connects the heel to the toes of the foot. It helps support the arch of the foot and helps people walk. Plantar Fasciitis is the name given to the problem in this tissue which leads to extreme pain and inflammation. It’s generally described as a stabbing pain that occurs with the first few steps in the morning. Pain is also observed when bending the foot and toes up towards the shin and can get worse with a tight Achilles tendon. This condition typically comes on slowly and can affect both the feet at the same time. This is generally seen in people who are overweight or in regular runners who don’t wear proper shoes to support the arch of the foot. After prolonged activity, the pain can flare up due to increased inflammation. This isn’t usually felt during the activity but rather just after stopping. It’s also seen that in many cases of plantar fasciitis, heel spurs are also found. Heel spur is a condition in which a small osteophyte ( a bone protrusion or elongation ) is found on the heel bone. This is not fully known it heel spurs actually contribute to the onset of the condition.
People suffering from plantar fasciitis complain of foot pain and stiffness in the bottom of the foot. Some people describe the pain as dull, while others experience a sharp pain, and some feel a burning or ache on the bottom of the foot extending outward from the heel. This pain is generally describes as being worse in the morning when taking the first few steps or standing up from a sitting position for sometime and gradually decreases as the feet limbers down.
In case of plantar fasciitis, if the plantar fascia tissue continues to be overused, then there is a significant risk of rupturing the tissue. This rupture can be felt in the form of clicking or snapping sound, extreme swelling and acute pain within the sole of the foot.
Plantar Faciitis is caused by straining the ligament of the foot that support the arch of the foot. Repeated strain can lead to micro tears in the ligament which can lead to immense swelling and pain.
Overweight people are at a greater risk of it since greater weight mean greater pressure on the ligament supporting the foot. Women who are pregnant often experience bouts of plantar fasciitis, particularly during late pregnancy. People who lead an active lifestyle in which a lot of strain is put on the foot like runners or soldiers, this condition can be more prevalent. It’s also slightly more common in women than in men.
If you have foot problems, such as very high arches or very flat feet, you may develop plantar fasciitis. Tight Achilles tendons, which are the tendons attaching your calf muscles to your heels, may also result in plantar fascia pain. Simply wearing shoes with soft soles and poor arch support can also result in plantar fasciitis.
For diagnosing this problem, the physician may ask about the patient’s medical history and physical check-up to see where the pain exists. The doctor will ask the patient to flex their foot upwards towards the shin while he/she puts pressure on the plantar fascia to see if the pain gets worse. Symptoms such milf redness and swelling are also indications of plantar fasciitis.
Your doctor will evaluate the strength of your muscles and the health of your nerves by checking your: Reflexes, muscle tone, sense of touch and sight, coordination and balance.
Apart from physical examination, there is also the procedure of imaging the affected area. The doctor may suggest imaging procedures like X-rays or an MRI scan to better understand the problem. Generally the lateral view of the ankle is recommended for the X-ray imaging.
Non-surgical procedures include taking NSAIDs ( Non-Steroidal Anti-inflammatory Drugs) like “ibuprofen” or aspirin. They reduce the pain and swelling in most cases however in around 20% of cases they fail to provide adequate relief.
For more stubborn cases that refuse to respond positively to other methods, something known as “Corticosteroids” injections can be used. These are excellent for short term pain relief but fail to show considerable results after 3 months. Although costicosteroids carry their own considerable risk factors like plantar fascitis rupture and nerve and muscle injury.
A well known remedy without any side effects for this condition is to fit the affected area with a custom orthotic device. This has been shown to reduce plantar fasciitis pain for about 12 weeks staright. An orthosis (plural: orthoses) is an externally applied device used to modify the structural and functional characteristics of the neuromuscular and skeletal system.
Extracorporeal shock wave therapy is another popular non-invasive choice among physicians. In this procedure, sound waves are directed at the area of heel pain to stimulate healing. It’s usually used for chronic plantar fasciitis that hasn’t responded to more-conservative treatments. This procedure may cause bruises, swelling, pain, numbness or tingling and has not been shown to be consistently effective.
For extremely severe cases when all else fails, the doctor may decide to go for surgery. In this case the plantar fascia is detached from the heel bone. This can lead to the weakening of the arch on your foot.
Home Remedies For Plantar Fasciitis
Use these simple and effective natural home remedies for plantar fasciitis for instant relief. A regular use of these home remedies for plantar fasciitis will be benficial for you in the long run to prevent any further outbursts as well.
Plantar fasciitis is a general, loosely-used diagnosis to describe when the soft tissues in your feet are inflamed. Ice can help put the fire of inflammation out. Some stores sell fancy devices that can help cool your feet down, but just a simple package of frozen peas will do just fine too. After icing your foot for 15 minutes, find the most painful spot and rub it back and forth across the width of your foot. Cross-fiber friction massage is painful to do, but it really helps to improve blood flow and healing. After the two minute massage, ice your foot for another 15 minutes. Repeat this process for each foot at least twice daily. It is the best home remedy for plantar fasciitis.
Stretching is a good option before hitting the ground. After waking up in the morning, actively dorsiflex (the act of moving your toes towards the shin ) your ankles a couple of times to stretch the calf muscles and extend the toes. Stretching everything out before you start walking can help to minimize the pain in the morning. A simple and effective natural home remedy for plantar fasciitis.
Night splints (braces) may be used to treat conditions such as Achilles tendinopathy and plantar fasciitis. The splint holds the foot with the toes pointed up. This position applies a constant, gentle stretch to the plantar fascia. It also stretches the Achilles tendon at the back of the heel, preventing it from contracting. You can wear night splints every night for up to several months. Then you can gradually reduce how often you use them as your symptoms go away.
Injured feet need some type of bracing too. The best shoes to offer support and protection for the feet are hiking boots. The stiff sole protects the foot while it heals. The rocker-bottom shape of the boot sole relieves the stress on the foot. Even the leather uppers give the entire ankle and foot unit more stability.
There are certain type of insoles that are specifically designed for giving comfort to the arch of the feet. Its a good idea to buy these inserts and wear them with instead of the regular ones that came with your shoe.
So, use these simple, easy and effective home remedies for plantar fasciitis, treat yourself from the pain, and live a pain free, healthy and happy life.