Plantar fasciitis is a disease that causes pain in the bottom of the heels. The plantar facia is considered to be a thick, weblike ligament that is there for connecting one heel to the front of his/her foot. This party’s main function is to act as a shock absorber and is also responsible for supporting the arch of a person’s foot, thus helping him/her walk comfortably without facing any problems.
Plantar Fasciitis is considered to be one of the most common orthopedic diseases that people suffer in their lives. The plantar fascia of a person goes through a lot of wear and tear during a day. If a person puts too much pressure on his/her foot, then he/she might experience tears in the ligament. Due to this, the plantar fascia becomes inflamed. People suffer from heel pain and stiffness due to this inflammation. You can overcome this pain to some extent by using heel cups on your leg.
Plantar Fasciitis Symptoms
Those who suffer from plantar fasciitis experience pain at the bottom of the heel or sometimes at the bottom of the midfoot area. In most cases, this affects only one, but there are rare cases when it affects both the foot.
Pain that is caused due to plantar fasciitis increases with time, and after some years, it becomes intolerable. The pain can either be dull or sharp. In some cases, a burning sensation is felt on the bottom of the foot, which tends to extend outward from the heel.
It is witnessed from past cases that the pain is worse during the morning. People experience pain when they take their first step out of bed in the morning or if they take a step after sitting or lying down for some time. People who suffer from these diseases are unable to climb stairs because of heel stiffness.
After a person gets involved in prolonged activity, the pain might increase, causing irritation and inflammation. People who all are diagnosed with plantar fasciitis do not usually feel pain while they are doing some activity, but they start to feel it after completing the work they were doing.
Causes of Plantar Fasciitis
Men and women who belong between the ages of 40 and 70 are at high risk to get diagnosed with these diseases at some point in their life. According to many doctors, the probability of women getting diagnosed with this disease is more than men. Women who are going through pregnancy are the ones who experience bouts of plantar fasciitis. This is experienced particularly in late pregnancy.
People who suffer from overweight and obesity are at significant risk to get plantar fasciitis in their feet. This is because people who are overweight put a lot of pressure on the plantar fascia ligaments while they walk. A person with average weight doesn’t put so much pressure on the ligaments.
People who are into running are the ones who have the most probability to get plantar fascia problems in their feet. People who do an active job are the ones who are at risk to get diagnosed with plantar fascia because they walk most of the time in a day. People who do active jobs such as waiters, factory workers are the ones who suffer from this disease.
People who have structural foot problems from birth also have chances of getting diagnosed with plantar fasciitis. Structural foot problems such as high arches and flat feet cause foot problems. Tight Achilles tendons is a part of the body that attaches one’s calf muscles to his/her heels; this part might also be a reason for plantar fasciitis. Another reason that might cause plantar fasciitis is using soft soles and poor arch supports in shoes.
Plantar Fasciitis Testing and Diagnosis
The doctor will first examine the foot of the person who is diagnosed with plantar fasciitis. From the examination, the doctor intends to know the tenderness of the foot and the exact location of the pain. This check-up is mandatory and required because it confirms that the foot problem is happening due to plantar fasciitis and nothing else.
During examining a person’s leg, the doctor might ask him/her to flex his/her leg and try to push the plantar fascia to see if the pain increases when the person flexes his/her legs and gets better when he/she points the toe.
After checking the foot, the doctor will start his/her evaluation by checking the strength of the muscles and the health of his/her
nerves by checking the:
- Muscle tone
- Sense of touch and sight
The doctor might also suggest doing an X-ray or an MRI scan to ensure that nothing else is causing the pain in your heels, such as a bone fracture.
Plantar Fasciitis Treatment
There are many home treatments for such diseases, such as rest, icing, and using braces. But the first and the most recommended way to treat this disease is inflammatory drugs. If all these are not working and the pain continues to increase, then one can take an injection of a corticosteroid directly in the area where the pain is happening. This might help in controlling the pain. The doctor might use an ultraviolet ray for determining the best place for giving the injection. Physical therapy can also help a person in getting relief from the pain; he/she can consult a therapist who will advise them to do so exercises that might help in fighting plantar fasciitis despite the fact that all these heel cups are used by people suffering from these diseases because it somewhat calms the pain for some time and helps in walking.
Plantar fasciitis is a painful disease; the best way to overcome the pain is to consult a doctor or physical therapist who will suggest different ways to get relief from the pain. But it all takes time, so to get instant relief from the pain, one can use heel cups.