Plantar fasciitis is one of the most widespread foot disorders associated with inflammation of heel-to-toe tissue. It causes acute heel pain, especially after waking up or sitting. This situation is usually blamed on excessive stress on your feet. This can occur from running too much, wearing unbalanced shoes, or being overweight. It mainly occurs in middle-aged to older people aged between 40 and 60.
What is Plantar Fasciitis?
Plantar fasciitis is one of the most widespread foot diseases. It happens when the band of tissue at the back of your foot becomes inflamed. This band runs from your heel to your toes. The section in your foot is called the plantar fascia. It generally causes a stabbing sensation on your heel.
This is especially true after taking the first steps in the morning or spending hours sitting. The discomfort may improve with motion. However, considerable pain usually remains even after standing for a long time.
If you stand up after sitting down, the pain continues. Plantar fasciitis is often associated with increased pressure on the feet. It can result from over-running, wearing unsupportive shoes, or being obese. It is most prevalent in those 40 to 60 years of age.
Causes of Plantar Fasciitis
- Age-Related Risks: Individuals between 40 and 60 are more prone to developing plantar fasciitis. This increased risk may be due to age-related changes in foot structure—also reduced flexibility and decreased cushioning in the feet.
- Impact of Exercise Surfaces and Practices: Exercising on hard surfaces can strain the plantar fascia. If you’ve recently started a new exercise routine on such surfaces, it could trigger plantar fasciitis. Tight calf muscles or heels can lead to overstretching your foot’s sole during physical activity. It increases the risk.
- Overuse and Stress: Plantar fasciitis is often triggered by putting too much strain on the plantar fascia. This can happen through activities like long periods of walking, running, or standing. Jumping on hard surfaces or engaging in intense sports like basketball or tennis adds stress to the foot.
- Uncomfortable Footwear: Wearing the wrong shoes contributes significantly to plantar fasciitis. Shoes that need proper heel support or align the feet correctly are problematic. Choosing footwear with good arch support and cushioning can help prevent the condition.
- Impact of Obesity: Being obese puts extra pressure on the plantar fascia. This increased pressure can raise the risk of developing plantar fasciitis.
Symptoms of Plantar Fasciitis
- Heel Pain: The main symptom is a pointed pain in the heel. It is usually more painful in the morning or after prolonged sitting.
- Pain After Exercise: You may not feel it while exercising, but it can flare up immediately after you work out.
- Stiffness: Your ankle can feel rigid, especially in the morning or after sitting.
- Pain When Pressed: Pressure on an area at the bottom of your heel can cause pain.
- Painful Step: Walking after the rest will be painful, but you may become better with further movement.
These symptoms may differ from person to person. If your feet hurt regularly, you should contact a healthcare provider.
Diagnosis of Plantar Fasciitis
To diagnose plantar fasciitis, your doctor will look at your medical history and examine your foot. They will check where your foot hurts to figure out the cause.
- Imaging Tests for Plantar Fasciitis: Often, no tests are required. X-ray or MRI may be suggested to exclude other problems like stress fractures.
- Bone Spurs and Plantar Fasciitis: X-rays can show bone spurs on the heel bone. Previously, bone spurs were believed to cause heel pain and were surgically removed. Not all people with heel bone spurs experience heel pain.
Signs Plantar Fasciitis Is Healing
Following are the signs that indicate healing of Plantar Fasciitis:
- Less Pain: You will see a decrease in pain, particularly morning pains. The first steps out of bed will be okay.
- Improved Flexibility: Your foot will begin loosening. Stretching will be less difficult and painful.
- Increased Comfort: It will be more comfortable to walk or stand. These activities will make you feel less pain during and after them.
- Strength Recovery: Your foot will progressively regain its strength. Such tasks as troublesome for the reason of pain will become easier.
- Swelling Reduction: Any swelling in the heel area will begin to go down, making your foot look more normal.
- Morning Relief: When healing from plantar fasciitis, getting out of bed becomes less painful. Instead of struggling in the morning, you’ll find walking easier when you get up. This often means a good day is ahead for those with plantar fasciitis.
- Pain Threshold Improvement: As plantar fasciitis starts to heal, you’ll find that you can handle more pain. In the beginning, even a little pressure can hurt a lot. But as you heal, touching or putting weight on your foot won’t be as painful. This is a good sign that you’re getting better.
As plantar fasciitis heals, you will notice significantly greater comfort and function in your foot. Activities that were previously painful will become less demanding. However, healing requires both time and patience.
Treating Plantar Fasciitis
- Cooling Down: Put ice on the sore area to ease swelling.
- Night Splints: Wear special splints when you sleep. They help stretch your foot and calf.
- Physical Therapy: Do exercises to stretch and strengthen your leg muscles. This helps make your ankle and heel more stable.
- Rest Well: Avoid activities like running or jumping that make the pain worse.
- Shoes and Inserts: Use shoes with thick soles and extra cushioning. Arch supports help spread out the pressure on your feet.
- Pain Relief: Take medicines like ibuprofen for a short time to ease pain and swelling. But don’t use them for over a month without talking to a doctor.
Treatment usually slowly makes things better, taking several months. If there’s no improvement in 5 to 12 weeks, your doctor might try other treatments like PRP injections. Surgery is very rare and only for serious cases.
Plantar fasciitis can last from a few weeks to over a year. It varies a lot. How long it lasts can be different for each person. It depends on many things, like how your body reacts to treatment. Be patient, as the treatment can take time. Some people feel much better in a few weeks, but not everyone.
Keep a good attitude and stick to your treatment. This helps in dealing with the pain of plantar fasciitis.
Managing plantar fasciitis requires patience and persistent treatment. The crucial healing indicator is low morning pain. Also, increases flexibility of the foot. Simple treatments such as the application of ice, night splints, and physical therapy work wonders.
Choosing supportive footwear is pivotal. If there is no improvement in a few months, consult your doctor for other forms of treatment. Keep in mind that recovery depends on each person. Therefore, keep up positive spirits and follow your schedule because this leads to optimal results.