Plantar fasciitis is one of the most common causes of heel pain. It involves inflammation of a thick band of connective tissue that runs across the bottom of the foot and connects the heel bone to the toes and supports the arch of the foot.
During movement the pain normally decreases but returns after long periods of standing or inactivity. It is common in runners. In addition runners who are overweight and who wear running shoes with inadequate support have an increased risk of this foot condition. Heel pain is worsened by bearing weight on the heel after long periods of rest.Ignoring plantar fasciitis may result in chronic heel pain that can hinder your daily activities.
Symptoms of Plantar Fasciitis
Plantar fasciitis typically causes a stabbing pain in the bottom of the foot near the heel. The pain is usually worst with the first few steps after awakening. The pain is usually more severe after exercise, not during it. Pain is also frequently brought on by bending the foot and toes up towards the shin when doing stretching exercises
Causes of Plantar Fasciitis
Under normal circumstances, your plantar fascia acts like a shock absorbing bowstring supporting the arch in your foot.
● If tension and stress on that bowstring become too great small tears can arise in the fascia.
● Repetitive stretching can cause the fascia to become irritated or inflamed.
Though plantar fasciitis can arise without an obvious cause certain factors can increase your risk of developing it.
● It is most common between the ages of forty and sixty.
● Long distance running places a lot of stress on your heel and the attached tissue and can contribute to an earlier onset of plantar fasciitis.
● Being flat footed, having a high arch or an abnormal pattern of running can affect the way weight is distributed and put added stress on the plantar fascia.
● Excessive running, standing on hard surfaces for prolonged periods of time, high arched feet or flat feet and the presence of a leg length inequality, .
● The tendency of flat feet to excessively roll inward during running makes them more susceptible to plantar fasciitis.
● Achilles tendon tightness and inappropriate footwear.
Treatments for Plantar Fasciitis
Most cases of plantar fasciitis resolve with time and conservative methods of treatment.
● Resting, massaging, icing and take pain medications within the first few weeks of symptons developing.
● Calf strengthening exercises, and techniques to stretch the achilles tendon, and plantar fascia.
● Using a gel heel cradle to cushion and support the heel If the pain is specifically in the heel of the foot.
● Using a foot roller to roll out the foot at night can also help.
If this is not sufficient, physiotherapy, orthotics, splinting, or steroid injections may be required.
If the plantar fascia continues to be overused while suffering from plantar fasciitis the plantar fascia can rupture. Typical signs and symptoms of plantar fascia rupture include a clicking or snapping sound, significant local swelling, and acute pain in the sole of the foot.
About 90% of plantar fasciitis cases will improve within six months with conservative treatment and within a year regardless of treatment