The plantar fascia is a thick layer of ligaments located at the bottom of your foot. The ligaments are there to support your foot’s arch, necessary for an efficient lower limb movement. The plantar fascia works by absorbing shocks as you walk, run or jump.
There are chances of developing plantar fasciitis, which is a painful aggravation of this connective tissue on the bottom of the foot. The fascia gets inflamed, which causes heel pain, and the feet may become stiff and painful, particularly in the morning when you first wake up. This often occurs if a person starts a new vigorous routine, where they spend excessive time on their feet. It is one of the most typical foot disorders that cause people to see an orthopedics specialist.
What Causes Plantar Fasciitis?
Plantar fasciitis occurs when pressure on the facia increases, and over time leads to aggravation of the ligaments and nerves in the heel and bottom of the foot. This condition is most common in the following conditions:
- An obese person.
- A pregnant woman.
- People who stand for several hours a day.
- People who walk barefoot.
- Result of an ankle or foot injury.
- Overusing their lower limbs while exercising.
Plantar fasciitis is more common in women over 40 years of age than in men. Similarly, some professionals have a higher risk of getting plantar fasciitis. It may include athletes, restaurant waiters, healthcare providers, factory workers, or anyone who has to stand for a long time.
Conversely, a previous foot pathology may aggravate plantar fasciitis. So, if someone has Achilles tendonitis, foot or ankle injury or an abnormal arch, they are prone to damage their plantar fascia, as well. The same is the case when wearing a lousy pair of shoes, that does not efficiently support your arch or the foot’s anatomy.
What Are The Symptoms of Plantar Fasciitis ?
Plantar fasciitis presents with a variety of symptoms. However, the major complaint is pain at the bottom of the foot. The pathology does not develop overnight. It may take weeks or even months for the fascia to become inflamed and painful.
People often complain of dull pain in the heel. Others may say that it hurts while stretching their feet or climbing stairs, because the foot becomes stiffer with time. It usually happens in either foot, but it is not uncommon to occur in both feet simultaneously.
The worst pain is experienced after inactivity, especially when you first wake up in the morning. People who take their first steps after waking up and getting out of the bed, or sitting for too long may experience excruciating pain when putting your foot down or standing up.
The pain often subsided on its own after a few minutes, but the aggravation can come back at anytime during the day.
What Is The Treatment For Plantar Fasciitis?
Your doctor may advise you to take sufficient rest to relieve the pain in your foot. Secondly, the fair use of icing can help reduce inflammation and relieve plantar fasciitis pain. You can use ice packs and rub them on the bottom of your feet to gain some benefits.
Medical treatment for plantar fasciitis includes anti-inflammatory drugs that significantly reduce the inflammation and pain in the fascia, eventually eliminating the pain and inflammation. Most people often respond to these treatments and are free of pain.
However, if one continues to have symptoms, the doctor would ask you to get an injection of corticosteroids in the bottom of the feet, or more importantly, in the area that received injury.
Another excellent management for plantar fasciitis is physical therapy. It helps in stretching and strengthening the fascia to improve your condition dramatically. It will help you release the pressure and allow you to walk better by stabilizing your feet.
Finally, inserts in your shoes can help eliminate plantar fasciitis by reshaping your feet putting the focal point back on your arch, and not on your heels.
How Can You Prevent Plantar Fasciitis?
Think of all the reasons why plantar fasciitis or achilles tendonitis happens and try your best to avoid them. It may include reducing your weight to decrease the pressure in your feet and lower limbs. Obesity has harmful effects on most of the anatomy of the lower limbs, and especially your feet. Other than the plantar fascia, a person’s knees are also affected because of obesity.
Likewise, if you plan on starting with a new or a more vigorous workout, start slow and do not overwork yourself. You must take proper rests in between your exercises to prevent overuse of the ligament.
Shoes also play a crucial role in relieving or exacerbating a foot pathology. It is also the reason to check foot pathology in a person who never had such a condition before. Therefore, you must pay close attention to the kind of shoe you wear.
It is necessary to get the right pair of shoes for any professional who has to stay on their feet round the clock or run for extended miles. Moreover, popular brands now exclusively manufacture shoes for plantar fasciitis.
Such shoes include a softer cushion with an improved insole to support the heel and the foot arch. The materials are often flexible and doughy that eases the pressure on the plantar fascia. It works as an excellent shock absorber.
You can also add insoles or inserts to your shoes. Many insoles are now in control of the foot biomechanics and work to support the arch and the ankle with its specialized and contoured heel cup. These insoles and inserts prevent the excessive stretching of the plantar fascia and stabilize it.
Plantar fasciitis is a curable foot disease if you learn to take proper care of your feet. You can effectively prevent this disease if you think you are one of the high-risk groups mentioned above. It is always better to find prevention than to go for a cure.
Ken Weiss is a health blogger who is passionate about natural and holistic cures for men’s health issues. He is the founder of menshealthcures.com