Plantar Fasciitis is a common foot ailment that can cause significant discomfort. It occurs when the feet are not properly aligned and there is excessive inward rolling, known as pronation. This misalignment puts extra strain on the heel bone and the plantar fascia, a band of tissue that runs along the bottom of the foot. The increased pressure can result in inflammation and pain. It is crucial to address this condition promptly to prevent further complications and find relief from the symptoms.
Preventing plantar fasciitis depends on having a well-functioning foot structure and proper movement mechanics. An important factor to consider is the type of footwear you choose, as wearing shoes that impede natural alignment may increase the risk of developing this condition.
What is Plantar Fasciitis?
Did you know that over two million individuals suffer from plantar fasciitis each year? This common condition primarily affects individuals between the ages of 40 to 60, but it can occur in people of all ages. Its primary symptoms include pain in the heel and arch of the foot.
Symptoms of plantar fasciitis typically include stabbing or sharp pain in the heel or arch area. This pain typically becomes most intense upon awakening in the morning and tends to lessen with walking or exercise.
Patients may experience heel pain after restful activities like sitting or driving, often intensifying towards the end of the day. In severe cases, this discomfort will worsen with time.
Symptoms of Plantar Fasciitis
Plantar fasciitis is a condition that causes sharp pain in your heel, typically worsening with first steps of the day or after sitting for long periods. Additionally, symptoms may worsen with activity like walking, running or stair climbing.
The plantar fascia is a strong fibrous attachment (like a ligament) running from your heel to the ball of your foot and toes, acting to support and cushion your arch while walking or running.
As we age, our plantar fascia becomes less elastic, potentially leading to tiny tears forming that lead to heel pain, inflammation and swelling.
Plantar fasciitis symptoms may range from mild to severe. In mild cases, pain is typically worse in the morning when first rising but may ease with activity or warming up, but more serious cases can cause persistent discomfort that persists throughout the day and is more consistent.
Diagnosis of Plantar Fasciitis
If your heel pain stems from plantar fasciitis, a common condition involving inflammation in the plantar fascia (the tissue connecting your foot to your heel). Your doctor can identify this condition through physical examination and looking out for tender spots on both feet.
Your doctor will likely ask about your medical history and routine activities, then examine your foot, examine its plantar fascia and feel for tender spots near your toes to see if any are tender to pressing.
If your doctor suspects plantar fasciitis, X-rays or an MRI might be recommended as diagnostic tools to reveal bone fractures or bony spurs on your heel that could be the source of your discomfort.
Treatment of Plantar Fasciitis
Pain in your heel or arch of your foot could be caused by inflammation of a ligament that connects your heel bone to your toes (plantar fascia). Plantar fasciitis is one of the leading causes of foot discomfort.
Initial symptoms typically include stabbing pain in the bottom of your foot when first getting up in the morning or following prolonged rest or activity. Over time, however, this pain usually decreases but could resurface with prolonged standing or walking.
Your doctor can suggest treatments to ease plantar fasciitis. These may include applying ice, massaging the affected area, taking anti-inflammatory drugs or wearing orthotics (arch supports) in your shoes.
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