What is Plantar Fasciitis?
Plantar fasciitis is a widely known condition that affects the foot and that causes a lot of pain in the heel during walking. This condition is caused when the plantar fascia is used too much and as a result, it gets inflamed. The plantar fascia is a ligament located at the bottom of your foot. It provides support to the arch in your foot and plays a very important role in you being able to walk. This thin ligament experiences a lot of wear and tear in your daily life. It absorbs shock as you walk or run and it supports the arch of the foot. As a result, it is always under pressure and if it experiences too much pressure, it can become damaged or torn. This causes it to become inflamed leading to heel pain and stiffness.
Who are most affected by this condition?
If you are overweight or obese, it is very easy for you to be affected by this condition because your weight places additional pressure on the plantar fascia. This applies to pregnant women as well.
If you are a long distance runner or if you are a very active person who is constantly on your feet, you are also at risk of developing this condition.
This condition also affects the elderly. In fact, men and women between the ages of forty and seventy are at the highest risk of obtaining this condition.
What Are the Symptoms of Plantar Fasciitis?
One of the most prominent symptoms of plantar fasciitis is pain in the heels which has been described as a sharp pain by some, as a dull pain by others and as a burning sensation by others. The distinguishing fact about the pain caused by this condition is that it is usually very hurtful in the morning. This is because the plantar fascia needs to stretch as you take those first few steps in the morning; however, as you move about, the pain will reduce. If you do however choose to take a break and sit down or lie down for a while, once you get up again, you will experience the pain again until you start moving about again.
What Treatments Are Available for Plantar Fasciitis?
If you are suffering from this condition, you know how painful it can be. The only thing that is probably on your mind is how to treat it. The most important aspect of treating this condition is reducing the inflammation in the plantar fascia. This will definitely reduce the pain that you are feeling. There are different types of treatments available:
Simple steps taken at home can help to reduce the pain. This includes staying off of your feet, applying ice to your feet multiple times during the day, using arch supports in your shoes which are also known as orthotics and doing stretching exercises. Braces and supports such as night splints can also be worn while sleeping to keep the plantar fascia stretched. You can also use over the counter medication such as ibuprofen and naproxen to reduce the pain as these medications reduce the inflammation in the ligament.
Medical treatments should only be considered if home treatments including over the counter medication does not help to ease the pain after being used for a prolonged period. Medical treatments can include an injection of a corticosteroid or shock wave therapy. If neither works, your doctor may recommend surgery; however, surgery should be the last option.
Can you ignore this Condition?
It is not advisable to ignore this condition because if you do, you can develop chronic heel pain which will cause injuries to your legs, hips, back and knees. It is therefore advisable to get the condition treated as early as possible. The earlier you start treatment, the more likely home treatment will work. Medical treatments such as steroid injections and surgery can be harmful and can have negative consequences so you do not want to prolong the condition. Have it treated as early as possible to prevent medical treatments. There is a lot of information and tips on the internet regarding this condition. If you think that you may be suffering from it or if you notice the symptoms, do not wait until you have the time to visit your doctor. Do your research and start with home treatments immediately. If you notice that the home treatments are not helping, visit a doctor as soon as you can to get medical advice and treatment to prevent this condition from causing more harm in your feet.