The plantar fascia, also known as the plantar aponeurosis, is a vital connective tissue that runs along the underside of your foot. This strong, fibrous band stretches from the heel bone (calcaneus) to the base of your toes. Its main role is to provide support and stability to the arch of the foot while also absorbing the impact and shock generated during activities such as walking, running, and jumping. Acting as a natural shock absorber, the plantar fascia helps distribute the forces exerted on your feet, promoting proper alignment and maintaining overall foot function. Without this essential tissue, everyday activities could become much more challenging and uncomfortable.
Plantar fasciitis is a common condition that results in sudden heel pain. It is particularly noticeable when you take your first few steps in the morning or after prolonged periods of sitting or standing. The pain is typically experienced upon getting out of bed, but can also occur after extended periods of sitting or standing.
One common foot condition that many people experience is plantar fasciitis. This condition is caused by injury or damage to the plantar fascia, a strong band of tissue that stretches from the heel to the toes, supporting the arch of the foot. The plantar fascia is crucial in ensuring proper foot function by evenly distributing weight and absorbing shock as you move. Plantar fasciitis commonly occurs as a result of repetitive strain or excessive stress on the foot, such as from long-distance running or wearing improper footwear.
Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune condition which attacks your own tissues, leading to joint pain, swelling, stiffness, and other signs of inflammation in your feet or ankles. Additionally, RA may lead to other problems like bunions and corns which require medical intervention for treatment.
In most instances, symptoms of both RA and plantar fasciitis are similar. Pain typically becomes most intense upon rising from bed in the morning or after periods of inactivity.
Plantar fasciitis may seem like just another heel pain condition, but if left untreated it could result in secondary issues that affect other parts of your body – for instance, arthritis could affect muscles in your knees and hips and lead to pain and stiffness in these areas.
When diagnosing plantar fasciitis, doctors take several factors into consideration, including your medical history, physical activity levels and pain symptoms. Imaging technologies like radiographs or diagnostic ultrasound may also be utilized.
Doctors also take into account potential predisposing factors that may be contributing to the issue, including tight calf muscles, flat feet and biomechanical issues that increase tension on the plantar fascia. These conditions can be further aggravated by sudden increases in exercise or sports activities, changing footwear or an increase in body weight.
Rheumatoid arthritis increases your risk for plantar fasciitis, an injury to the heel and foot that occurs when one branch of the lateral plantar nerve becomes compressed and trapped under your heel, causing pain that worsens with walking, standing up or running.
Medication such as Ibuprofen and naproxen may help to decrease swelling and ease your discomfort, and your doctor may suggest corticosteroid injections for added support against inflammation.
Surgery may be required in extreme cases to lengthen your plantar fascia; this procedure, known as gastrocnemius release, can be carried out at a foot and ankle surgery center.
For those living with RA and plantar fasciitis, maintaining contact with their rheumatologist or foot doctor is vital for relief from symptoms like plantar fasciitis. With proper diagnosis and treatment plans in place, most can find relief from plantar fasciitis pain as well as heel or foot discomfort.
The plantar fascia connects your foot and heel, providing arch support and evenly dispersing your weight across both feet.
Plantar fasciitis occurs when this tissue becomes inflamed due to overuse or injury.
Painful feet typically arise either when first getting up in the morning, after long hours on your feet or after periods of inactivity such as sitting. They may also feel worse without support shoes on.
If you suffer from plantar fasciitis, your doctor may suggest physical therapy that involves stretching both calf muscles and plantar fascia to increase flexibility and reduce inflammation around damaged ligaments. Treatment might include special ice packs, massage and other therapies designed to relieve discomfort.
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