What Happens If You Leave Plantar Fasciitis Untreated?
Plantar fasciitis is a common foot condition characterized by a sharp, stabbing pain in the heel area. This pain tends to intensify when walking or standing for extended periods. If left untreated, the condition can lead to chronic pain. The underlying cause of plantar fasciitis is inflammation and irritation of the tissue that spans the bottom of the foot, which can result in tearing or rupturing. Seek appropriate treatment to alleviate symptoms and prevent long-term complications.
If left untreated, heel spurs can also form as a result of this condition. These spurs, characterized by calcium deposits in the arch of the foot, gradually increase in size and cause discomfort by poking at the heel during each step taken.
If you continue to apply pressure on the area, heel spurs can calcify and become sharp bone. Therefore, it is crucial to seek treatment promptly upon detecting them. Fortunately, there are preventive measures you can take to avoid developing heel spurs. These include maintaining a regular exercise routine, wearing appropriate footwear, and engaging in stretching exercises before and after any physical activity. By following these steps, you can help keep heel spurs at bay.
X-rays can help your doctor diagnose plantar fasciitis and identify any other conditions that might be causing your symptoms. Besides X-rays, your doctor may order other tests to rule out the possibility of a foot fracture or nerve entrapment.
Over-the-counter medications can provide relief from pain, swelling and inflammation in the plantar fascia and other soft tissues. You can also use foot massage and ice to ease your discomfort.
A visit to an orthopedic specialist can also provide a clearer picture of your condition. An orthopedic surgeon will be able to examine your foot and use X-rays and other tests to help them determine what is causing your heel pain.
Your doctor will recommend a variety of treatments to address the cause of your plantar fasciitis and alleviate your pain. Depending on the severity of your condition, your doctor may prescribe medication or surgery.
Stretching exercises can help reduce stress on the plantar fascia and the calf muscles that support it. It’s also recommended to wear shoes with good arch support.
Limiting activities can also help, as well as icing your heel several times a day for 10 minutes. Place a thin towel between the ice and your heel to avoid a frozen heel.
Padding can also help, as it provides cushioning and support to the arch of your foot. Your doctor may suggest padding or strapping your foot to soften the impact of walking and decrease stress on your plantar fascia.
Surgical treatment is reserved for people who have failed to respond to conservative treatments, and in some cases, it’s needed to relieve severe plantar fasciitis. The most common surgeries for this condition include fusion or reconstruction of the plantar fascia and Achilles tendon.
Heel spurs, a common result of the inflammation that is caused by untreated plantar fasciitis, can form in the back of the heel. These bony growths can be very painful, and can also affect the Achilles tendon and the surrounding tissue.
Symptoms of plantar fasciitis may also include pain under the ball of the foot. This is called the “stone bruise” sensation, and it can be very uncomfortable. You might even feel pain when you step on the heel or when you lie down.
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