Plantar Fasciitis

Plantar Fasciitis is the condition mostly found in the middle aged people. This condition compels you to leave all your work except for lying in the bed. In this blog we will discuss about the causes, symptoms and ways to deal with plantar Fasciitis.

What is Plantar Fasciitis?

Inflammation of the plantar fascia is known as the Plantar Fasciitis. Plantar fascia is the band of tissue running in the bottom of the foot connecting the bones in the heels to the big toe.

What are the causes of Plantar Fasciitis?

Continuous stretching and irritation of plantar fascia gives rise to Plantar Fasciitis. Plantar fascia works as a shock absorber for your foot. It also supports the natural arch of the foot. When there is excessive tension and stretching of the plantar fascia due to various reasons, small tears develop in them. These tears in the fascia make them irritated and inflamed and cause Plantar Fasciitis.

What are the symptoms of Plantar Fasciitis?

Patient suffering from Plantar Fasciitis can have pain and stiffness in the bottom of the foot while taking first few steps in the morning after getting up from the bed or walking after sitting or standing for a long period of time. After first few steps the pain gradually subsides and it returns when you start using your foot after a long period of inertia.

Who is at risk of developing the Plantar Fasciitis?

Following factors influence the development of Plantar Fasciitis.

  • Age: People between the age group of 4o to 60 years are at higher risk of developing Plantar Fasciitis.
  • Runners: In athletes like long distance runners, there is continuous pressure on their feet. This puts continuous pressure and a stretch on their plantar fascia leading to plantar Fasciitis.
  • Professional hazard: Certain professions like that of a teacher, people working as sales executives in malls or big shopping centers are required to stand for long hours. Such people are at higher risk of developing Plantar Fasciitis.
  • Type of feet: Those people who have high arches in their foot and those with totally flat feet are at higher risk of developing Plantar Fasciitis. As both these conditions put added pressure on the plantar fascia.
  • Obesity: Obese people tend to get this condition because of the heavy weight puts pressure on the plantar fascia.
  • Pregnancy: In pregnant women also tend to suffer from this condition due to weight gain during pregnancy.

How Plantar Fasciitis is different from Calcaneal spur?

In Calcaneal spur also people get similar kinds of symptoms but both the conditions are different. Calcaneal spur is the bony projection of the heel bone while Plantar Fasciitis results due to the overstretching and irritation of the plantar fascia.
X-rays of the feet can confirm the diagnosis.

What are the treatment options for Plantar Fasciitis?

Rest and ice fomentation on the foot relieves the pain of Plantar Fasciitis. Non- steroidal Anti-inflammatory Drugs reduce the inflammation of the plantar fascia and relieve the pain and stiffness.

Exercises for plantar Fasciitis: Following exercises are highly recommended for the patients of the Plantar Fasciitis. They help in improving the muscles strength of the feet and thereby help in a long run.

Toe stretch:

Step 1: Sit on a chair. Extend the affected leg. Ensure that the ankle remains in touch with the ground.

Step 2: Stretch the big toe up towards the ankle using your hand, hold it in that position for 15 to 30 seconds and release it back. Do this 5 times in one session and repeat such sessions at least 4 times in a day.

Towel stretch:

Step 1: Sit on a bed or floor. Place a rolled towel under the ball of the foot. Keep both ends of the towel in your hands.

Step 2: keeping the knees straight, gently pull the towel, hold for 15 to 30 seconds and then release. Repeat this, do 5 times in one session. Repeat this exercise at least 4 times in a day.

What are the other options apart from the physical exercises?

Following measures should be followed apart from exercises.

  • Avoid walking barefoot on the hard surfaces. Use soft slippers when you are indoors.
  • Change the old shoes. Use the shoes which give a good support to your arch. Use of insoles (shoe inserts or heel cups) is recommended for better arch support.
  • Sometimes when above measures don't work, doctors give splints which are to be worn at night.
  • Lastly, steroid injections are given in the heels for obtaining relief.
  • Very rarely when all the measures fail to relieve pain of Plantar Fasciitis, surgery is recommended by the doctor.

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