Plantar fasciitis is a common and discomforting foot condition that affects more than a million individuals each year. This condition primarily causes pain in the bottom of the foot, specifically the heel area. Plantar fasciitis occurs when the thick band of tissue that connects the heel bone to the toes becomes inflamed or overstrained. The pain can range from mild to severe, and it is often worse in the mornings or after long periods of rest. It is a prevalent condition that can impact people of all ages and activity levels.
Stress fractures are a common injury that occur when there is an overload of strain or fatigue on the arch of the foot. Several factors can contribute to the development of stress fractures, with one widely accepted theory pointing towards the wear and tear on the plantar fascia ligament as a main cause. The plantar fascia ligament is a key structure in the foot that helps maintain its arch and absorbs shock during walking or running. When this ligament is subjected to repetitive stress or excessive pressure, it can become weakened and prone to fractures. Therefore, it is important to take measures to prevent and manage stress fractures, such as wearing appropriate footwear, gradually increasing physical activity levels, and seeking timely medical attention.
1. It’s caused by flat feet
Plantar fasciitis is a common foot injury that affects millions of people worldwide. It is characterized by inflammation of the fascia, a thick band of tissue that runs from the heel to the front of the foot. Although this condition can be extremely painful, there are certain myths surrounding it that may misconstrue its severity. It is essential to shed light on these misconceptions and provide accurate information to those suffering from plantar fasciitis.
Plantar fasciitis, contrary to its name, is caused not by a tendon but rather a sheet of connective tissue that runs from your heel all the way up your foot’s arch and covers its arch.
Your foot’s arch serves to absorb impact and support your weight while walking, running, or jumping. However, when this arch elongates or flattens it can become painful, making walking hard work.
2. It’s permanent
Plantar fasciitis is a long-term condition causing pain in the heel that can reduce mobility and cause changes in how people walk, stand, and run.
Most cases typically respond well to conservative treatment and usually resolve within several months; however, more serious or stubborn conditions may need more intensive assessment in order to consider more advanced therapies.
If conservative treatments don’t provide relief, doctors may suggest steroid injections or surgery as alternatives to ease acute discomfort. Though such procedures may temporarily alleviate acute discomfort, they also weaken your plantar fascia, raising your risk of rupture and worsening symptoms over time.
3. It’s a genetic condition
This condition is caused by inflammation of the plantar fascia, which runs along the bottom of your sole from toe to heel and connects with the calcaneus (heel bone).
Fascia supports the arch of your foot and absorbs shock when walking. When stretched too much, small tears form within its tissue which may lead to pain and inflammation.
People who are overweight are at increased risk for developing foot conditions, while high-impact sports like running can also exacerbate it. Therefore, it’s essential that overweight individuals reduce the stress their weight places on their feet by keeping off excess pounds and staying off them altogether.
4. It’s caused by painkillers
Painkillers like ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB), naproxen sodium (Aleve), can sometimes provide temporary relief from plantar fasciitis symptoms; however, they can have serious side effects that should be discussed with your healthcare provider before taking more than just a few weeks worth.
Your doctor can diagnose plantar fasciitis by asking you questions and conducting a physical exam, in addition to conducting tests to see whether the pain could be due to something other than plantar fasciitis.
About half of people with plantar fasciitis also have bone spurs on their heels – protrusions of bone that protrude from the heel bone, but don’t cause pain nor contribute to plantar fasciitis.
5. It’s caused by a lack of exercise
The plantar fascia is the ligament responsible for supporting and cushioning your foot arch while also absorbing shock from walking. When this fascia ruptures, it can lead to heel pain or pain beneath your foot.
Painful feet and ankles are a common complaint among people who stand all day or engage in regular physical activities such as running. But even those not actively engaged may suffer the effects. If this is your situation, don’t wait to seek medical advice if symptoms develop; remain active.
Keep this in mind to minimize your risk of plantar fasciitis: activities that put pressure on the heel should be avoided while running or engaging in other forms of physical exercise, using supportive shoes and maintaining a healthy weight are also ways to keep fascia strong and flexible. Walking may even help!
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