Plantar Fasciitis Treatment
What is Plantar Fasciitis?
Plantar fasciitis (fash-ee-EYE-tiss) is an injury of the heel that can cause mild to severe pain for an extended period of time. The foot has a tough tissue called the "plantar fascia" that connects the heel to the base of the toes. Plantar fasciitis is actually an overuse-type of injury that occurs at the base of the plantar fascia at the heel.
What are the symptoms?
Plantar Fasciitis sufferers experience pain on the bottom of their foot in the heel area which quite often feels like a bruise. The pain may be dull to non-existent when sitting or laying down, and flares up when any weight is put on the foot by walking or running.
A short or long rest period will help a bit, but the pain will generally reoccur quickly when attempting to walk or run.
In the early stages of Plantar Fasciitis, the pain will generally be felt after exercise -- not during the exercise itself.
If left untreated, it can become a chronic condition and can cause a host of other medical issues. People with Plantar Fasciitis tend to favor the affected foot when walking or exercising which can cause additional leg, hip, knee or back problems over time.
What causes Plantar Fasciitis?
Plantar Fasciitis is caused by excessive walking, standing or running, particularly under certain conditions.
A runner who runs on a flat track could be less likely to develop the condition than someone who runs on hilly or uneven ground. Someone who does a lot of walking in thin-soled shoes or sandals could be more likely to develop it than someone who walks in sturdy walking shoes or athletic shoes.Something as simple as a few hours walking or standing on gravel in thin-soled shoes or sandals could also cause Plantar Fasciitis.
The people who are more prone to develop Plantar Fasciitis are:
- people who are overweight
- people whose job requires a lot of walking or standing
- people with tight calf muscles
- people with extremely high arches
- people who run or walk frequently for exercise
Is Plantar Fasciitis treatment possible?
Plantar fasciitis treatment generally involves specific exercises over a period of time, but the condition is treatable. Before beginning treatment for Plantar Fasciitis, it is wise to consult your doctor first. Common treatments include:
- Resting the affected foot
- Ice on the affected area for 20 minutes at a time, several times throughout the day
- Exercises specifically designed to stretch the plantar fascia and Achilles heel
- Regular doses of Ibuprofen or other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medication
- Wearing sturdy shoes
- Using heel supports in your shoes
After two to three months of treatment, the Plantar Fasciitis should signifcantly improve. If it does not, be sure to consult your doctor or orthopedist. He or she will most likely advise you to:
- Wear night splints designed to stretch the plantar fascia
- Wear a walking cast for a few weeks
- Begin a round of steroidal anti-inflammatory medications, usually Cortizone injections directly into the heel