Do you feel painful during morning hours
Sometimes a person is fine through out the day but the first few steps he takes when getting out of bed in the morning are so painful. The same thing happens if he sits for hours and gets up. What ails him and countless others is Plantar Fascitis, a common cause of foot pain.
Plantar Fascia is the thick fibrous tissue that connects the tiny front bones of the foot with the heel bone or calcaneum at the back. It is virtually the anchor for all foot movements.
Overuse, which translates as too much of standing or walking, misuse like stuffing your feet into ill-fitting high-heeled shoes or being obese, genetic factors like flat feet or too high a foot arch as well as chronic arthritic conditions can set off plantar fascitis.
Patients usually seek help after two to three months of pain. Pain killers give only temporary respite and in the long run, their side -effects grossly out weigh benefits. Earlier local steroid injections into the heel were in vogue; but recent studies have shown that the ‘fascitis' shows more wear and tear rather than inflammation; so steroids may really not have a role.
Cold compresses help. Strangely, soaking one's feet first thing in the morning in warm concentrated salt water also helps like magic. The explanation is that it improves blood flow, which washes out pain and any tissue functions are better when blood supply is good. Ultrasound therapy, extra corporeal shockwave therapy and acupuncture have been found to be beneficial.
Best results have come from exercise. Shedding weight, if obese, is crucial. Soft arch supporting footwear helps if one has flat feet. Putting one's feet up, especially if one has a job involving constant standing or sitting can be invaluable.
Can a heel spur cause such pain? They can but surprisingly heel spurs usually result from chronic plantar fascitis rather than being a cause of fascitis . It's like stepping on a thorn when you walk.
The good news is that the simple treatments outlined above help reduce spur pain too. If the foot pain is related to a primary arthritic problem, then proper diagnosis and management of the primary problem becomes mandatory.