Plantar fasciitis is a common foot problem that affects the heel of a person’s foot. The arches of the feet are supported by a tough and fibrous tissue known as the plantar fascia and when this tissue is used repetitively, injury may occur. It can be easy to overuse the feet, especially when participating in activities such as sporting events. Hence, plantar fasciitis is more commonly found in athletes or others who are constantly using their feet for long durations. With excessive use, the planar fascia will eventually give in and this condition may also be progressive. Runners, joggers and those who are known to participate in similar activities need to ensure that they do not damage this important band of tissue. In addition, body weight could be a factor that leads to the occurrence of plantar fasciitis. If a person is overweight, the feet and subsequently the plantar fascia tissue could become overwhelmed. Improper footwear could also cause a strain on the plantar fascia tissue and this could gradually become severe over time.
Causes of foot arch pain
The arch of the foot is particularly affected when a person has plantar fasciitis and the plantar fascia, which is a fibrous tissue in the foot, can become injured when a number of actions occur. These actions include overuse of the foot, wearing shoes that place a strain on the foot, being overweight and sudden injuries which result in stress or strain on the plantar fascia. Overuse of the feet is common in sporting activities where athletes are constantly moving with their feet in a repetitive manner. Over time, such repetitive movements can cause stress on the plantar fascia to build up. Eventually, this tissue tears or gives way to the pressure. Pressure from excessive weight on the feet could also overwhelm this tissue. People may damage the alignment of their feet arches and the plantar fascia tissue while standing or walking in ill-fitted shoes which abnormally stretch or compress the fibrous tissue in the feet.
To prevent the occurrence of plantar fasciitis, pay attention to footwear and shoes that place the feet in uncomfortable angles or positions. This is easily noticeable when the feet begin to suffer after wearing such shoes for some time. In addition, if a person is obese, weight loss could be advantageous in preventing plantar fasciitis or reducing the adverse symptoms associated with the condition. If the causes of plantar fasciitis are known, then the chances of preventing the condition from occurring in the first place are extremely high.
What is plantar fasciitis
To seek treatment for plantar fasciitis, one should understand what is plantar fasciitis and the symptoms that could be associated with the condition. Symptoms of plantar fasciitis typically causes a stabbing pain in the bottom of your foot near the heel. The pain is usually worse the first few steps after awakening, although it can also be triggered by long periods of standing or getting up from a seated position.
However, there can be occurrences of a radial type of pain when a person suffers from the condition and in this case the pain starts at the heel but tends to radiate out to other parts of the leg such as the toes or sides of the foot. For people who habitually use their feet, the existence of pain in that area of the body can be exacerbated by every step taken.
Due to the inflammation in the feet when a person has plantar fasciitis, there may also be itching experienced around the affected foot. People may also experience tenderness, swelling and redness around the region when plantar fasciitis is present. The more a person participates in activity with an injured plantar fascia, the more itching and pain may be experienced. If a person experiences pain at the heel or foot area and this pain occurs or is typically worse early in the morning, this type of pain may be linked to plantar fasciitis. Also, if the feet have been in a resting or non-active position for a significant amount of time and pain is felt when movement occurs after this restful state, there is a likelihood that such pain is as a result of the presence of an injured plantar fascia tissue.
How do Doctors diagnose plantar fasciitis?
The diagnosis of plantar fasciitis is generally made during the history and physical examination. There are several conditions that can cause heel pain, and plantar fasciitis must be distinguished from these conditions. Pain can be referred to the heel and foot from other areas of the body such as the low back, hip, knee, and/or ankle. Special tests to challenge these areas are performed to help confirm the problem is truly coming from the plantar fascia.
An X-ray may be ordered to rule out a stress fracture of the heel bone and to see if a bone spur is present that is large enough to cause problems. Other helpful imaging studies include bone scans, MRI, and ultrasound. Ultrasonographic exam may be favored as it is quick, less expensive, and does not expose you to radiation.
Laboratory investigation may be necessary in some cases to rule out a systemic illness causing the heel pain, such as rheumatoid arthritis, Reiter’s syndrome, or ankylosing spondylitis. These are diseases that affect the entire body but may show up at first as pain in the heel.
Treatment for plantar fasciitis
There are a number of treatment options for Plantar Fasciitis. From special orthotic devices and splints, to stretching and strengthening the fascia itself. R.I.C.E. is a common treatment regimen, which stands for Rest Icepack application Compression and Elevation. Research has shown that 25% of individuals with Plantar Fasciitis have found that rest is the best treatment.
Many people have success with dietary modifications as well. Zinc, for example, is an essential mineral that helps you repair and regenerate damaged tissue.
Plantar Fasciitis can be a very debilitating medical condition if it is left untreated. The good news, however, is that there are a number of solutions available to help you overcome it.
To learn more about Plantar Fasciitis and proven techniques to treat and prevent it, the best guide on the matter is Fast Plantar Fasciitis Cure™ by exercise rehab consultant Jeremy Roberts. This book provides reader with a step-by-step plan of action to overcome the pain and repair the damaged foot tissue. By following this plan, you can quickly reclaim your foot health and your quality of life.