Plantar Fasciitis

Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment Remedies

Plantar Fasciitis Treatment Remedies


The contents of this app are provided for educational purposes only and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease or health condition. The information provided should not be considered as a substitute for the advice of a medical doctor or other healthcare professional.

What is Plantar Fasciitis?

If overuse or overstretch of your plantar fascia amounts to stress or tension, this condition occurs.

This condition is also reported in persons diagnosed with other medical conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis or lupus.

Plantar fasciitis is also known as heel pain or heel spur syndrome if a spur is present.

Your foot and ankle surgeon should be able to determine the exact underlying cause of your heel pain.

Persons with plantar fascia will first experience irritation to the fascia followed by inflammation that culminates into heel pain (plantar fasciitis).

This condition is responsible for the pain felt under your heel which typically goes away after sometime.

The prime cause of this condition is the presence of some fault in the structure of one’s foot.

Persons with high-arched feet (or extremely flat feet) are at a higher risk of developing plantar fasciitis than those with normal-size feet.

Treatment for plantar fasciitis will include heel pads, good footwear, rest, exercises, and some pain killers.

One is more likely to experience this condition if he has problems with his foot arch, runs long distances on uneven surfaces (such as downhill), is obese, suffers from a tight Achilles tendon, or puts on shoes that do not properly support his arch.

Cases of plantar fasciitis are commonly reported in persons who take part in sports that involve jumping, dancing, or running.

Athletes who over-pronate their feet are at a higher risk of developing this condition than those whose feet don’t overly flatten.

Persons who are overweight are more likely to develop plantar fasciitis than those with normal weight. This is because of the excess weight that impacts on their feet.

Plantar Fasciitis Symptoms

Standing (or sitting) for an extended period of time and any other intense activity worsens the pain felt.

Long periods of inactivity remain the leading trigger factor of this heel pain.

In most cases, the pain associated with plantar fasciitis develops gradually with time. The pain may also develop suddenly on the trigger of some intense activity such as jumping from some height or missing a step.

Other than pain, patients diagnosed with plantar fasciitis may also complain of stiffness in the bottom of their heels. This may affect one foot or both feet and usually develops slowly.

Another symptom of plantar fasciitis is a swollen heel.

Plantar Fasciitis Causes

Obesity is characterized by excess weight which exerts pressure on the ligaments of your plantar fascia. This is a common occurrence for those who suddenly gain weight.

Foot problems will also cause plantar fascia problems. Persons with overly flat feet or high aches may develop plantar fasciitis.

If you also suffer from tight Achilles tendons (or calf muscles), you stand a chance of suffering from plantar fasciitis.

Tight Achilles tendons undermine one’s normal ability to flex his ankles and predispose him to plantar fasciitis.

Heel spurs take a fare share of the cases of plantar fasciitis as well. Studies have confirmed that one out of every 20 persons with a heel spur experiences plantar fasciitis at some stage in their life.

Other risk factors associated with plantar fasciitis include age, faulty foot mechanics, certain occupations, and some exercises.

Some exercises particularly those that exert tension and stress on your heel are likely to cause plantar fasciitis. Such activities include dance aerobics, ballet dancing, running downhill, and many others.

An example of a faulty foot mechanic is a high arch. Others include having very flat feet and an abnormal walking pattern, which affect weight distribution on your heel. This adds stress on your plantar fascia and increases the risk of heel pain.

Certain occupations such as those of factory workers may aggravate the risk of developing plantar fasciitis.

People with Arthritis have an increased chance of developing plantar fasciitis.

People with Diabetes have an increased chance of developing plantar fasciitis.

Plantar Fasciitis Diagnosis

During diagnosis of plantar fasciitis, the doctor carries out a physical examination aimed at checking any forms of tenderness in his patient’s foot.

The doctor also seeks to understand the exact point of pain to be certain that pain is not triggered off by any other underlying cause.

He may request you to turn your foot as he presses on your plantar fascia to see how the pain progresses. During this procedure, your doctor may also notice swelling or mild redness (some spot) on the boom of your heel.

A physical examination will also allow your doctor to check your reflexes, muscle tone, sense of touch, coordination, and balance.

This is vital for analysis of your muscles’ strength and health of your nerves.

The doctor may also opt for MRI scan or X-ray to rule out other possible causes of your heel pain such as bone fractures.

The X-ray may also reveal a spur of bone that might be projecting frontward from the patient’s heel bone.

In a nut shell, a physical exam will reveal high arches, flat feet, swelling, tenderness, or any stiffness on your heel. .

Your doctor may also order for an ultrasound scan on the fascia. The ultrasound scan will show any thickening or swelling of the fascia.

The patient’s history is also very important during diagnosis of plantar fasciitis.

Plantar Fasciitis Treatment

To ease the inflammation and pain associated with plantar fasciitis, your doctor may prescribe you a number of pain relievers.

In some cases, doctors suggest that you wear boot casts (say for 3 to 6 weeks) as a way of relieving heel pain.

Your doctor may also refer you to a physical therapist who will instruct on the right exercises that stretch your plantar fascia.

A physical therapist may also take you through exercises that strengthen your lower-leg muscles and stretch your Achilles tendon.

With the help of a physical therapist, you may also learn to use athletic taping which helps in supporting tissues at the bottom of your feet.

Your doctor may also recommend that you wear some splint to stretch the arch of your foot and your calf as you sleep.

The doctor may suggest that you use orthotics. Orthotics are custom-fitted arch supports specially designed to help in the even distribution of pressure on a patient’s feet.

If the conservative treatment options are not effective, doctors may recommend steroid shots for their patients.

With steroid shots, steroid medication is injected into the tender area for temporary pain relief.

Multiple injections of this nature are rare because steroid medications often weaken a patient’s plantar fascia.

A weakened plantar fascia may rapture or shrivel up the fat pad that covers up your heel bone.

It is also not unusual for your doctor to recommend an extracorporeal shock wave therapy. During this procedure, the doctor directs sound waves to the location of heel pain with the intention of stimulating healing.

Extracorporeal shock wave therapy is often used to treat chronic or severe cases plantar fasciitis.

It is however important that extracorporeal shock wave therapy may cause swelling, bruises, numbness or pain as its side effects.

If the underlying cause of your condition is activity-related, your doctor will simply advise that you stop the change the way you do the activity or that you drop it altogether.

Activity modification may include reducing instances of long distance running, walking less, and opting for swimming other than jumping.

Massaging the affected area of the heel particularly in the morning hours after taking a warm shower is highly advised.

Deep tissue forms of massage are also important in alleviating heel pain.

When you have plantar fasciitis you want to avoid going bare foot.

Plantar Fasciitis Prevention

Doctors suggest a number of ways to effectively prevent and reduce the risk associated with planter fasciitis.

Maintaining a healthy diet ensures that you do not grow obese with time. This is vital in minimizing the stress on your planter fascia.

Doctors warn against the use of high heels. To keep off planter fasciitis, it is important that you choose well supportive shoes (shoes with moderate heel). Your shoes should also have good arch-support.

You should also avoid walking bare foot or on hard surfaces to reduce the risk of developing heel pain.

Worn-out shoes should also be avoided.

Doctors also encourage the importance of taking part in low-impact sports like swimming as opposed to high-impact ones like long-distance running.

Home exercises aimed at stretching your Achilles tendon, calf muscles, and plantar fascia are all essential in the prevention of plantar fasciitis.

Do calf stretches, toe stretches, and towel stretches a number of times especially when you rise up in the morning.

Always do activities in moderation.

Plantar Fasciitis Statistics & Facts

Plantar fasciitis occurs in both men and women, but commonly affects women. It affects those between the age of 40 and 60 years.

Plantar fasciitis, which is also known as heel pain syndrome, affects about 2 million people every year in the United States alone. It is also estimated that at least 10 percent of the population are likely to experience plantar fasciitis at some stage in their life.

Most repetitive movements (walking or running) stretch your plantar fascia.

The pain associated with this condition is most serious in the morning hours and slowly recedes as time goes by.

Inflammation of the plantar fascia also leads to its tightening leading to heel pain.

Plantar fasciitis is commonly associated with exostosis (heel spur).

Symptoms of plantar fasciitis are exacerbated by activity and extended weight bearing.

Improper footwear may cause plantar fasciitis. This is because of impaired shock absorption or excessive pronation and under-pronation.

The condition affects the underside of your foot and the heel, and is as a result of inflammation on the plantar fascia.

Plantar Fasciitis Treatment Remedies plus

The contents of this app are provided for educational purposes only and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease or health condition. The information provided should not be considered as a substitute for the advice of a medical doctor or other healthcare professional.

What is Plantar Fasciitis?

Plantar fasciitis is literally the inflammation of one’s plantar fascia.

Plantar fascia refers to a strong ligament-like tissue (isthmus of tissue) that stretches from one’s heel toward the toes (middle foot bones). It is the thick band of tissue right at the bottom of your feet.

This tough and fibrous band of tissue supports the archway of your foot and functions like a shock-absorber for your foot.

Any inflammation or swelling of this thick tissue is known as plantar fasciitis. This might be triggered off by anything that amounts to overstretching or overusing the plantar fascia.

It is important to note that during the normal aging process, the plantar fascia is likely to lose its resilience or normal elasticity which predisposes it to irritation and eventually inflammation during routine activities.

Plantar Fasciitis Causes

Research has shown that those considered obese or overweight stand a higher chance of developing plantar fasciitis.

This also explains why pregnant women often experience bouts of heel pain (plantar fasciitis) especially in the later stages of their pregnancy.

Overly active jobs or activities are also responsible for a number of cases of plantar fasciitis. For instance, long distance runners are at a high risk of developing plantar fasciitis.

Other cases of persons diagnosed with plantar fasciitis have been linked to wearing of shoes with very flat soles or those with poorly padded soles.

Plantar fasciitis is most prevalent in persons who are between the ages of 40 and 60 years. This makes age a contributing factor for this orthopaedic condition.

Plantar Fasciitis Symptoms

The most prominent symptom associated with plantar fasciitis is pain. This is often reported as pain in the arch of your foot or pain on the bottom of your heel.

Usually, a single spot is noticeable on the bottom of your heel.

The pain witnessed by persons diagnosed with fasciitis is worse after a prolonged period of rest especially when you get up in the morning.

Walking upstairs or walking on your toes may aggravate the pain. Any sudden stretching of the sole of your foot exacerbates the level of your pain.

The pain slowly fades away as one takes up activities. Shoes with little or no padding at their soles may also heighten the degree of pain linked to this condition.

Plantar Fasciitis Treatment

Persons diagnosed with plantar fasciitis usually recover after a few months of conservative treatments.

The most common pain relievers prescribed for patients with plantar fasciitis are naproxen (Aleve) and ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB).

Your doctor may also recommend that you use Acetaminophen (Tylenol) as an alternative pain reliever.

Pain can also be relieved by applying ice to the area that is painful. This should be done at least two times in a day.

Sometimes, people with plantar fasciitis wear heel cups or shoe inserts in the heel area to dampen pain.

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