Plantar fasciitis is one of the most common explanations of heel pain. It is caused by inflammation to the thick band that connects the toes to the heel bone, called the plantar fascia, which runs
across the bottom of your foot. The condition is most commonly seen in runners, pregnant women, overweight people, and individuals who wear inadequately supporting shoes. Plantar fasciitis typically
affects people between the ages of 40 and 70. Plantar fasciitis commonly causes a stabbing pain in the heel of the foot, which is worse during the first few steps of the day after awakening. As you
continue to walk on the affected foot, the pain gradually lessens. Usually, only one foot is affected, but it can occur in both feet simultaneously. To diagnose plantar fasciitis, your doctor will
physically examine your foot.
Plantar Fasciitis is simply caused by overstretching of the plantar fascia ligament under the foot. So why is the ligament being overstretched? There are different factors, over-use, too much sports,
running, walking or standing for long periods (e.g. because of your job) weight gain, our feet are designed to carry a 'normal' weight. Any excess weight places great pressure on the bones, nerves,
muscles and ligaments in the feet, which sooner or later will have consequences. Even pregnancy (in the last 10 weeks) can cause foot problems! age, as we get older ligaments become tighter &
shorter and msucles become weaker; the ideal circumstances for foot problems, unsupportive footwear, 'floppy' shoes with no support as well as thongs affect our walking pattern, walking barefoot,
especially on hard surfaces like concrete or tiles, low arch and flat feet or over-pronation. An important contributing factor to Plantar Fasciitis is 'excess pronation' (or over-pronation). This is
a condition whereby the feet roll over, the arches collapse and the foot elongates. This unnatural elongation puts excess strain on the ligaments, muscles and nerves in the foot. When the foot is not
properly aligned, the bones unlock and cause the foot to roll inward. With every step taken your foot pronates and elongates, stretching the plantar fascia and causing inflammation and pain at the
attachment of the plantar fascia into the heel bone. Re-alignment of the foot should therefore an important part of the treament regime.
Plantar fasciitis sufferers feel a sharp stab or deep ache in the middle of the heel or along the arch. Another sign is the morning hobble from the foot trying to heal itself in a contracted position
overnight. Taking that first step causes sudden strain on the bottom of the foot. The pain can recur after long spells of sitting, but it tends to fade during a run, once the area is warmed up.
A physical exam performed in the office along with the diagnostic studies as an x-ray. An MRI may also be required to rule out a stress fracture, or a tear of the plantar fascia. These are conditions
that do not normally respond to common plantar fasciitis treatment.
Non Surgical Treatment
Many cases of plantar fasciitis can be treated with simple, conservative measures. These include ice packs, stretching exercises, anti-inflammatory medications, orthotic devices (custom molded
orthotics), and physical therapy. Itâs important to consult your doctor before you take any medications to treat this condition. In chronic or persistent cases, one of three techniques may be used
to treat plantar fasciitis. Extracorporeal Shock Wave Treatment (ESWT). TOPAZ treatment. Platelet Rich P
When more conservative methods have failed to reduce plantar fasciitis pain, your doctor may suggest extracorporeal shock wave therapy, which is used to treat chronic plantar fasciitis.
Extracorporeal shock wave therapy uses sound waves to stimulate healing, but may cause bruises, numbness, tingling, swelling, and pain. When all else fails, surgery may be recommended to detach the
plantar fascia from the heel bone. Few people need surgery to treat the condition.
More than with most sports injuries, a little bit of prevention can go a long way toward keeping you free from plantar fasciitis. Here are some tips to follow. Wear supportive shoes that fit you
well. When your shoes start to show wear and can no longer give your feet the support they need, it's time to get a new pair. Runners should stop using their old shoes after about 500 miles of use.
Have a trained professional at a specialty running store help you find the right pair for your foot type, and then keep your shoes tied and snug when you wear them. Stay in good shape. By keeping
your weight in check, you'll reduce the amount of stress on your feet. Stretch your calves and feet before you exercise or play a sport. Ask an athletic trainer or sports medicine specialist to show
you some dynamic stretching exercises. Start any new activity or exercise slowly and increase the duration and intensity of the activity gradually. Don't go out and try to run 10 miles the first time
you go for a jog. Build up to that level of exercise gradually. Talk to your doctor about getting heel pads, custom shoe inserts, or orthotics to put in your shoes. Foot supports can help cushion
your feet and distribute your weight more evenly. This is especially true for people with high arches or flat feet. Your doctor will be able to tell you if shoe inserts and supports might lower your
chances of heel injury.