What is Plantar Fasciitis and how is it treated?
Plantar Fasciitis is a cause of pain under your heel, and usually happens when the plantar fascia thickens. The thickening can be a consequence of recent damage, an injury or an accumulation of little injuries that have occurred over the years. If you’re suffering from plantar fasciitis, you may feel quite severe pain under your heel and the middle part of your foot. The pain is usually worst with the first few steps after waking, although it can also be triggered by long periods of standing or getting up from a seated position.
Plantar Fasciitis is a very common ailment in runners. Additionally, people who are overweight and those who wear inadequately supported shoes are also at risk of plantar fasciitis.
What Is The Plantar Fascia?
The plantar fascia is the flat band of tissue (also known as a ligament) that connects your heel bone to your toes. It helps to support the arch of your foot and can get weak, inflamed and swollen if it is strained. If straining or other damage to your plantar fascia does occur, the heel and bottom of your foot hurts when you stand or walk.
Many people that have suffered from an injured plantar fascia describe it as a burning sensation, or as if a nail had been driven directly into your heel. As you can imagine, this can be excruciating if left untreated.
Most Common Causes Of Plantar Fasciitis
Some of the most common causes of plantar fasciitis include:
- Unsuitable Footwear – If your shoes are worn out or the soles have no cushioning, you can start to suffer from plantar fasciitis.
- Changes In Activity – Making recent or sudden increase in intensity to your exercise routine.
- Constant Foot Strain – Spending the majority of the day on your feet.
- Tightness of the Achilles Tendon – This causes stress onto your heel and foot.
- Rheumatic Conditions – If you suffer with Rheumatoid Arthritis or Ankylosing Spondylitis, Plantar Fasciitis may be part of your condition.
- Recent Weight Gain – Recent weight gain can put additional pressure on your feet.
Various statistics show that around 1 in 10 people will suffer from plantar fasciitis at some point in their life. It seems to happen more to people within the 40-60 age range, but be aware that it can occur at any age.
How Is Plantar Fasciitis Treated?
There are many ways to treat plantar fasciitis, which is why we’ve decided to outline them here. If you’d like to find out some of the best ways to treat plantar fasciitis, please read on.
Some of the best ways to treat plantar fasciitis include:
- Rest and Relaxation – Rest and relaxation is one of the best ways to treat plantar fasciitis. You should rest the affected foot whenever possible. Try and avoid walking long distances and standing for long periods, if you can help it.
- Pain Relief – Anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen can be used to help significantly relieve pain. A lot of people also find that applying an ice pack (or something similar) to the affected area helps reduce the pain.
- Exercise and Stretches – Exercise designed to stretch both your calf’s and your plantar fascia can help to significantly reduce the pain you’re feeling from plantar fasciitis. Stretches such as towel stretches, wall stretches, stair stretches, chair stretches and dynamic stretches can also help.
- Changing Footwear – Changing your footwear can help to relieve some of of the pain from plantar fasciitis. This is because plantar fasciitis can be caused by footwear that do provide adequate foot support.
- Orthoses – Orthoses are insoles that fit snug inside of your shoe to help support your foot and help your plantar fascia to recover.
- Strapping or Splinting – Alternatively to using insoles (orthoses), you can have your heel strapped with sports tape, which will help to relieve a lot of the pressure on your heel. Night splints can also be useful in some cases, which prevents your toes from pointing down when sleeping. When your toes point down constantly when you’re asleep, the tissue inside of your heal is squeezed together which can lead to straining.