What is Plantar Fasciitis
Your foot has thick, fibrous band of tissue (”fascia”) reaching from your heel to your toes. These tissues support the muscles and arch of the foot. When they’re overly stretched, tiny tears can occur in their surface. These tiny tears will cause inflammation and pain.
What is the cause?
A number of things can contribute to plantar fasciitis. While men can get plantar fasciitis, it’s more common in women. You’re also more likely to suffer from this condition as you are older, if you’re overweight, or on your feet for several hours a day.
Your risk of getting plantar fasciitis increases if you:
- Wear worn out shoes
- Have flat feet
- Have a very high arch
- Wear high heeled shoes
- Have tight Achilles tendons
Plantar Fasciitis Treatments
There are a few options your doctor could try to ease your pain and reduce inflammation in your foot. They might even recommend you try a few therapies at the same time. These treatments include:
Medication Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) will help with your pain and reduce inflammation of the plantar fascia. Your doctor may prescribe multiple doses a day for several weeks.
Steroid injection If your pain is bad or doesn’t respond to prescribed NSAIDs, you might want to think about getting a steroid injection.
The steroid is injected into the most painful part of your plantar fascia. It will help ease your pain for about a month, But it will keep the inflammation down for even longer than that.
Physical therapy If medication, rest, and ice don’t help enough, your doctor might recommend that you go to a physical therapist.
You’ll learn exercises to stretch and strengthen your plantar fascia, Achilles tendon, and lower leg muscles. Y
If you don’t show progress after several months, your doctor may recommend a more involved procedure or even surgery. These options include:
Tenex procedure. You only need a small cut and it’s usually over in a few minutes. An ultrasound is used to target and remove scar tissue. This procedure allows you to get back to your regular routine in as little as 10 days.
Surgery. This operation takes your plantar fascia off of your heel bone. Surgery is usually the last resort if you have severe pain or a stubborn injury that other treatments don’t help. You will probably go home the same day. Your doctor may ask you to wear a splint or boot and not put weight on your foot for a certain amount of time.
The Dos and Dont’s
With plantar fasciitis, the tissue on the bottom of your foot gets inflamed and makes the bottom of your heel or the bottom of your foot hurt. It happens a lot with runners and people who have flat feet, high arches, are overweight, or who are on their feet a lot.
It can take 6-12 months for your foot to get back to normal. You can do these things at home to ease the pain and help your foot heal faster:
R.I.C.E – Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation
Pain relievers: Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) can make your foot feel better and help with inflammation.
Stretching and exercise: Stretch your calves, Achilles tendon, and the bottom of your foot. Do exercises that make your lower leg and foot muscles stronger. This can help stabilize your ankle, ease the pain, and keep plantar fasciitis from coming back.
Kensiology Tape: Tape can support your foot and keep you from moving it in a way that makes your condition worse. Here is a quick video on a KT Tape application for plantar fasciitis:
Shoe inserts. Also called insoles, arch supports, or orthotics, they can give you an extra cushion and added support. When you choose one, firmer is better — and make sure it has good arch support.
Night splints. Most of us sleep with our feet pointed down, which shortens the plantar fascia and Achilles tendon. Night splints, which you wear while you sleep, keep your feet at a 90-degree angle.
They can be bulky, but they tend to work really well.
Walking cast or boot. Typically, your doctor would suggest a walking cast or boot only when other treatments have failed. The cast forces you to rest your foot, which can help relieve pain. But it’s not a cure. When the cast comes off, the pain may return.
Can Plantar Fasciitis be Prevented?
Once your foot feels better, you will want to make some changes in your lifestyle to help keep the condition from coming back:
Lose weight. If you’re overweight or obese, you may put more pressure on the bottom of your feet.
Choose shoes with good support. Replace your athletic shoes often. Stay away from high heels.
Don’t go barefoot on hard surfaces. This includes your first few steps when you get up in the morning. So you’ll want to keep some supportive footwear by your bed.
Do low-impact exercise. Activities like swimming or cycling won’t cause plantar fasciitis or make it worse.
Avoid high-impact activities. These include running and jumping, which put a lot of stress on your feet and can make your calf muscles tighter if you don’t stretch them out.
Keep doing your leg and foot stretches. Two of these include:
- Stretch your calves.
- Stretch the bottom of your foot.
Untuck your bedsheets. If your sheets are tucked too tightly and you sleep on your back, your feet will be in a pointed position while you sleep.
Plantar Fasciitis while a painful and sometimes aggravating injury, is treatable. It is important to properly rehab after you recover from the injury or the injury will return. If you are having Plantar Fasciitis pain, it is important to see a doctor for a checkup. You deserve to feel better and get back to your day-to-day activities. With the right care and treatment plan, you will be back on health feet in no time.
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