Plantar fasciitis is a disorder of the plantar fascia, the connective tissue on the bottom of your foot.
Plantar fasciitis causes pain in the heel and arch areas of the foot. The pain can be severe enough to force one to stop what they are doing and walk on their toes or use pain killers for relief. The pain is worse in the morning, which can make it difficult to walk. The pain typically gets better during the day as you put less weight on your foot and when better-fitting shoes are worn. Once it starts, it isn't easy to get rid of plantar fasciitis without professional help. Plantar fasciitis is a problematic foot problem for people who are on their feet all day or those with specific jobs like nursing and teaching, but thankfully, there are some ways to deal with this painful ailment. A doctor may prescribe anti-inflammatory drugs that will help alleviate some pain and inflammation on the sore area.
Causes of Plantar Fasciitis
Injury to the soft tissues in the foot can cause inflammation and pain that one will often feel when putting pressure on the floor. Quite often, this disease will develop in the plantar fascia for a while before the pain starts. It is because the plantar fascia has some time to stretch, and then it gets too tight. Tightness in the plantar fascia can be caused by wearing shoes that don't fit right, which puts a lot of stress on the ligament. Some of the most highly occuring causes of plantar fasciitis are:
- Blow or trauma - When at one point or time your foot got hurt or had an injury.
- High arches - When the middle part of your foot is arched, so when walking, the plantar fascia stretches too hard.
- Tight Achilles tendon due to tight calf muscles that causes the swelling and natural pain.
- Flat feet- The foot leans inwards while working and eventually causes plantar fasciitis.
- Most individuals with arthritis have a high chance of developing plantar fasciitis in the future.
Symptoms of Plantar Fasciitis
Plantar fasciitis is a typical complaint in those who wear tight shoes, but the foot may also hurt if one has short calf muscles or flat feet. Pain often develops gradually as the condition worsens, and there will be localized tenderness around the heel bone. The most common symptoms of plantar fasciitis are:
- An ache in the heel or arch of the foot.
- Pain when standing up from a seated position and following with an increase in pain while walking.
- Tenderness coming from the lower part of the foot where it joins the toes, just below the ball area of the feet. It is usually on both sides but not always.
- A pain first thing in the morning or after a period of rest. The longer one goes without walking, running, and then trying to do it again, the more likely the foot will hurt with each step.
- Inflamed foot. It happens when there is too much wear on the tissue that supports the arch and heel bone in the foot, causing inflammation.
Treating Plantar Fasciitis
When someone gets a diagnosis, and they have plantar fasciitis, there are ways they can manage the symptoms. There is no cure for Plantar Fasciitis, but the doctor may prescribe medication to help with pain and inflammation. For some people with occasional flares up of symptoms, stretching exercises can be helpful. The doctor may also recommend the following:
- Wearing a night splint or boot at the beginning for several hours per day, which will help stretch the tightened plantar fascia tissue in the foot.
- Insoles - this helps to reduce the pressure on the foot, which in turn reduces inflammation. One can find a pair in pharmacies, and they come in many different sizes.
- Resting - this means you should avoid any activities that aggravate the condition or make it worse. It may mean resting or using crutches to relieve weight and pressure from the infected foot.
- A brace or taping of the foot to keep it in an elevated position and reduce swelling. A patient may need help with the first tries before they know the right way to do it.