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Plantar Fasciitis in Children and Adolescents – Unique Challenges and Solutions

The plantar fascia is a vital ligament in the structure of your foot. Located along the arch, it serves the purpose of providing support and evenly distributing the impact generated during walking or running. Without the plantar fascia, the foot would lack stability and struggle to withstand the forces exerted upon it during these activities.

Physical therapy is a highly beneficial treatment for addressing this distressing ailment. While it primarily affects older adults, it is important to note that children and adolescents can also be affected by this condition.

1. Symptoms

Plantar Fasciitis is a common condition characterized by discomfort in the heel and/or arch of the foot. The pain tends to worsen after prolonged periods of walking or standing. Typically, the symptoms are most pronounced in the morning or when first getting out of bed. This condition can be attributed to the inflammation of the plantar fascia, a thick band of tissue that supports the arch of the foot. It is important to seek appropriate treatment and make necessary lifestyle adjustments to alleviate the pain and prevent the condition from worsening.

Plantar Fasciitis is a common condition, affecting two million Americans each year and 10% of the population over their lifetime. Individuals who stand for extended periods, overweight individuals with poor foot structure, and those who run or walk too much are all more at risk for developing Plantar Fasciitis.

The plantar fascia is a band of tissue running from the heel to the ball of your foot, supporting and abusing dynamic shock. When stressed, this band can develop microscopic tears which may not be visible until after prolonged overuse or excessive weight bearing on it. Overload can result from repetitive activities or sudden increases in activity level or weight bearing on it.

2. Diagnosis

Plantar fasciitis is an inflammatory condition caused by microtears in the thick band of tissue spanning the arch of your foot. This band absorbs shock like the string on an archery bow when you walk or run, acting as support for your arch.

However, when the strain from repeated stress and overuse becomes too great it can become inflamed, leading to heel pain. Runners and athletes are particularly at risk for developing this painful condition but it can also affect those who are overweight, over 40, work on their feet, or have flat or high arches.

On examination, patients with plantar fasciitis often experience tenderness at the origin of the fascia, which is usually located within the medial calcaneal tubercle on the inside of their heel. X-rays may show an associated heel spur.

3. Treatment

Plantar fasciitis is a common foot condition that causes discomfort while walking. This condition develops due to inflammation of the plantar fascia, an area running from your heel to your toes.

Your arch supports your arch and absorbs dynamic shock as you walk. Inflammation can develop if this band of tissue becomes weak or swollen due to strain or overuse, typically from overexertion.

Treatment options range from conservative measures such as ice massage and stretching to nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and steroid injections. Surgical intervention can reduce swelling and relieve pain.

Plantar fasciitis can be caused by obesity, foot arch problems, running or jumping sports, occupations that require a lot of standing and wearing shoes without proper support. People with back issues or scoliosis may also have an increased chance for developing this condition. X-rays and ultrasound can be useful in diagnosing it; trigger point therapy is another non-invasive solution for treating plantar fasciitis.

4. Prevention

Plantar fasciitis is a common foot issue that affects millions of people, particularly athletes. This condition develops when your plantar fascia, the fibrous band of tissues that spans the arch and connects your heel to toes, is overused or stretched.

The band absorbs shock as you run, walk or stand. But it is vulnerable to tiny tears and inflammation if these stresses become too great, leading to irritation, pain and stiffness in your heel.

Plantar fasciitis can be caused by several factors, including being overweight or having flat arches. Extending your workouts too quickly or increasing their intensity or duration are other potential risk factors for developing this painful condition. Furthermore, wearing shoes that are too tight or lack support may contribute to its development as well.


You might also like to read:

Plantar People
Athletes and Plantar Fasciitis: Tips for Prevention and Recovery
Addressing Plantar Fasciitis in the Aging Population: Strategies for Seniors

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