13 Feb Plantar fasciitis: Causes, Diagnosis and Treatment
Understanding Plantar Fasciitis
You have ‘Fascia’ when your foot has has thick and fibrous band of tissue going from your heel to your toes. When little tears appear on this tissue and inflammation occurs (causes are multiple), you will experience pain right at the bottom of your foot (front or center of the heel bone). If this is so, you could be experiencing Plantar Fasciitis.
This is a very common condition seen in runners.
Fasciitis will come from a number of sources:
- Use of worn-out shoes (bad soles)
- Flat feet (or a very high arch)
- Overuse of high-heeled shoes
- Improper walk or foot position
Plantar Fasciitis is easily identified as you experience pain in the bottom of your foot, localized in front or center of the heel bone. You can also visit you Doctor who can perform other tests in order to out rule other conditions too. But again, a localized pain in the center of the heel bone will indicate Plantar Fasciitis.
Plantar fasciitis can take from weeks to even months to heal; it depends on the severity of the injury, and what measures are taken to address the condition. As we normally recommend in our approach to every injury: Stop exercise, Rest, treat, recover.
How to recover from Plantar Fasciitis
First of all, as when any other injury occur: You need stop all physical activity, your foot does not need more stress. Initially, focus need to be put in releasing stress from the foot (stop physical activities and rest), and address inflammation if there is any. Some ways to help reduce inflammation will include:
Medication – Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) can help with pain and inflammation. Your doctor will prescribe the adequate dose.
Steroid injection – This is a next step in case NSAIDs are not doing their job. These steroids are injected directly to painful area and it will help ease the pain and will aid with inflammation.
After inflammation and pain is initially addressed, Physical Therapy can follow. The idea of physical therapy is to regain stretch and strength in your plantar fascia, and peripheral areas (Achilles tendon, lower leg muscles, etc). Massage and ultrasound will also be considered by your therapist.
In more advanced stages where therapy and medication don’t seem to be working, surgery can become an option.
Although 95% of people who suffer from Plantar Fasciitis recover without the need of a surgery, some people take this option after failing the traditional non-surgical treatments.
Surgery (as last recourse) will address the issue by either cutting a section of the plantar fascia ligament to release tension, or smooth the surface of the bone, or both. Again, surgery should be taken as very last recourse. Note that when surgery is undertaken, in most cases your foot could take much longer to get back to normal.
Additional things to consider that can help manage pain
Athletic tape: Tape can provide additional support to your foot and keep you from moving it in a way that makes plantar fasciitis worse.
You can try this method:
Shoe inserts. These can provide also with extra cushion and added support.
Use shoes with good support. Use highly cushioned shoes and remember to replace them often. Stay away from high heels.
Wake up with footwear by your bed. Don’t go barefoot specially in the morning when you wake up. It’s common to feel pain at that moment. Minimize impact by getting to some supportive footwear when getting out of bed.
You can also use Night Splints to keep the heel stretched out when you sleep. By doing so, the arch of the foot does not become contracted at night and can be less painful in the morning.
Exercise with low impact activities. Swimming and cycling are great since they won’t get the pain worse. They will also help in keeping muscle tone in check. Remember to stretch out your calves and feet.
If still in pain, avoid high-impact activities like running.
When at home, remember to stretch your leg and foot:
- Stretch your calves.
- Stretch the bottom of your foot.
PRP Injections are also an option as a natural treatment that uses a concentrated blood to stimulate the area to heal . Although there is still limited data on the effectiveness, more and more people are resorting to this treatment as option.
If Plantar Fasciitis is an issue, remember: Stop, Rest, treat, and recover.
We found this article interesting: Plantar fasciitis – important new research by Michael Rathleff
We hope this post was of help. If you have comments we’d love to hear from you.