Do you wake up in the morning unable to take the first few steps due to Heel pain? Do you feel uncomfortable to walk after you are sitting in one position for long time? You walk a few steps and feel more comfortable?
If YES, then the reason for this could be – PLANTAR FASCITIS
The plantar fascia is a long, thin ligament that lies directly beneath the skin on the bottom of your foot. It connects the heel to the front of your foot, and supports the arch of your foot.
How does one get Plantar Fasciitis ?
The plantar fascia is designed to absorb the high stresses and strains we place on our feet. But, sometimes, too much pressure causes microtrauma to the tissues. The body’s natural response to injury is inflammation, which results in the heel pain and stiffness of plantar fasciitis.
In most cases, plantar fascitis develops without a specific, identifiable reason. There are, however, many factors that can make you more prone to the condition:
- Tight calf muscles
- Flat/Pronated feet (feet rolling inwards when you stand or walk )
- High arches
- Repetitive impact activity (running/sports)
- New or sudden increase in activity
So how do you know if you are suffering from plantar fascitis ?
The most common symptoms of plantar fascitis include:
- Pain on the bottom of the foot near the heel.
- Pain with the first few steps after getting out of bed in the morning, or after a long period of rest, such as after a long car ride. The pain subsides after a few minutes of walking.
- Greater pain after (not during) exercise or activity.
How can you deal with it ?
- Rest– Decreasing or even stopping the activities that make the pain worse is the first step in reducing the pain. You may need to stop athletic activities where your feet pound on hard surfaces (for example, running).
- Ice– Icing 3-4 times a day would help decrease the pain and reduce the inflammation.
- Taping- Sports tapes have been known to alleviate stress on the plantar fascia ligament thus relieve some pain and inflammation associated with plantarfascia. Your physiotherapist can assist you with this.
- Exercise – Plantar fascitis is aggravated by tight muscles in your feet and calves. Stretching your calves and plantar fascia is the most effective way to relieve the pain that comes with this condition.
- Orthotics– As you step and your heel strikes the ground, a significant amount of tension is placed on the fascia, which causes microtrauma (tiny tears in the tissue). Research has shown that Orthotic devices are the mainstay of ongoing conservative treatment for patients with plantar fascitis. The rolling of the feet inwards when you stand or walk causes abnormal stresses to the plantar fascia and hence it must be corrected. Patients with high arch may benefit from using a flexible orthotic device . These orthosis can disperse some of the forces when you load the heel.Vissco silicon gel pads and Vissco Heel pads can be used to relieve pressure on the plantar fascia for pain relief. For more details visit : http://www.vissco.com/product-detail/heel-cushion-with-blue-spotprs
- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medication– Drugs such as Ibuprofen or Naproxen reduce pain and inflammation.
- Cortisone injections– Cortisone is a type of steroid, is a powerful anti-inflammatory medication. It can be injected into the Plantar Fascia to reduce inflammation and pain. Consult your doctor before taking the shot. Multiple steroid injections can cause the plantar fascia to rupture (tear), which can lead to a flat foot and chronic pain.
- Surgery– Surgical fasciotomy should be reserved in extreme cases who has persistent pain after 9 months of failed conservative measures.