Plantar Fasciitis: What You Need to Know
Updated: Feb 26, 2020
If you are a highly athletic individual and are constantly on your feet, you stand a higher chance of developing plantar fasciitis. Notably, this condition is very common among runners. Before we can get deeper into the topic, it is essential that we understand what plantar fasciitis is.
At the bottom of your foot, there’s a thick band that runs across it attaching your toes to the heel bone. This fibrous band of tissue is known as the plantar fascia and provides support to not only the arch of the foot but the surrounding muscles. Due to the functional importance of the plantar fascia, when it’s overstretched or torn, it can lead to heel pain and inflammation.
After numerous studies, doctors have come to the conclusion that plantar fasciitis can lead to the development of heel spurs. The heel pain caused by this condition is often characterized by a stabbing sensation on your heel.
If the first thing you experience in the morning is heel pain, chances are that you are suffering from plantar fasciitis. Additionally, if you tend to experience stabbing pain in your heel after walking and/ or standing for too long, you may have developed the condition as well.
Runners or athletic people are not the ones at risk of developing Plantar fasciitis. Numerous studies show that obese or overweight individuals stand the risk of developing the condition as well.
This is because the plantar fascia is a weight-bearing part of the body, and the more you weigh, the more strain you place on it. Additionally, an obese or overweight person has a high fat composition in his body. The fat is deposited along the arterial walls, leading to cardiovascular diseases. The fat is also deposited in other areas of the body such as the plantar fascia.
The more fat deposited on it, the less flexible it is. The stiffer the plantar fascia, the easier it is to damage. Below we take a look at a number of other causes of plantar fasciitis.
As previously mentioned, Plantar fasciitis occurs after the plantar fascia is damaged or torn from too much stress or tension. Overstretching the plantar fascia can aggravate it, leading to inflammation and development of the aforementioned condition.
Wearing high heeled shoes too often
Tight or stiff Achilles tendons
Uncomfortable foot position
Unusual walking style
Wearing worn out shoes with worn out soles that can’t offer proper foot protection
Obesity or being overweight
Having flat feet
Having a high arch
Age: The Plantar fasciitis condition is common among people aged 40 and above.
Exercises that place too much strain or tension on the plantar fascia
Occupations that require extended periods of standing, walking or sitting
Research has found that this condition is more common among women than it is in men. The above-highlighted causes can also be viewed as risk factors. By knowing the risk factors and causes, you can effectively prevent the development of Plantar fasciitis and protect the health of your heel.
Additionally, visiting a plantar fasciitis podiatrist is another way of preventing the development of the condition.
One key factor in prevention that most trained podiatrists recommend is learning the signs of plantar fasciitis. This way, you can keep tabs on the health of your foot. Also, knowing the warning signs can ensure that you seek early treatment and intervention before any further damage can occur.
Symptoms and Signs of Plantar Fasciitis
Characterized by a stabbing pain on the heel, near the heel or the bottom of the foot often times many will experience pain after exercise.
You often experience what is termed as first step pain. This is when you experience pain in your heel area immediately after you wake up
Pain occurs after extended periods of standing, walking or even sitting
If you suspect that you may be suffering from the condition, seeking immediate treatment from a qualified podiatrist is crucial. Ignoring the condition and avoiding treatment will aggravate the condition, leading to the development of chronic heel pain. Chronic heel pain can hamper mobility and make carrying simple tasks difficult and painful.
Not seeking treatment can also lead knee, back or other foot problems.
That said, the first step to effective treatment is a correct and accurate diagnosis. At Wasatch Foot and Ankle Institute located in Ogden and Farmington, Utah, we recognize the importance of proper diagnosis. Backed by medical practitioners that are highly trained and educated in the field of podiatry, we are able to offer the best form of treatments as well.
Accurate diagnosis is often made after a series of physical tests and examination with an additional look at one’s medical history. Other tests such as imaging tests such as X-ray or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) are also carried out.
The test results, which often indicate the area of the foot experiencing pain, dictate the type of treatment offered. This is because, by identifying the area of pain, the podiatrist will be able to determine the cause and hence, provide effective treatment.
Methods of Treatment
Notably, the methods of treating Plantar Fasciitis are categorized into two: non- surgical and surgical.
Nonsurgical Methods of Treatment
Medications: The type of medication given are the nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), also used for treating lateral ankle instability. They are effective in treating and reducing inflammation in the plantar fascia.
Steroid injections: This type of treatment is often administered if the medication does not help with reducing pain in the affected area. Such injections are also great for reducing inflammation.
Therapy: When it comes to therapy, three types can be administered to help treat the affected area. They include:
Shock wave therapy
Surgical Method of Treatment
This method of treatment is usually the last resort. If all the above methods of treatment fail, then surgically detaching the plantar fascia from the heel bone is the last option. It helps reduce and get rid of severe pain in that area.
In conclusion, by visiting Treasure Valley Foot + Ankle in Meridian Idaho, we can help safeguard the health of your foot. Say goodbye to foot problems and pain by maintaining regular visits with one of our highly trained and certified podiatrist.