Plantar Fasciitis is a condition involving pain in the heels. It gets its name from the Plantar Fascia, which is the ligament connecting the toes to the heel bone and plays a vital role in providing support to the heel of the foot. Plantar Fasciitis is usually caused due to inflammation in the ligament and the pain generally intensifies when the patient is in the standing or walking position, during which greater pressure is applied on the heel.
Causes Of Plantar Fasciitis:
- Excessive pronation is a foot disorder that can cause Plantar Fasciitis. In this condition, the feet roll inward to a degree higher than normal while walking.
- Flat feet and high arches are some other foot disorders that could cause Plantar Fasciitis.
- Excessive pressure on the foot by prolonged activities such as standing or running on a hard surface for long periods could also result in Plantar Fasciitis.
- Abnormal tightness in the calf muscles or Achilles tendons.
- Ill-fitting footwear.
- Obesity is also a leading cause of Plantar Fasciitis.
Symptoms Of Plantar Fasciitis:
- A characteristic symptom of the pain associated with Plantar Fasciitis is that the pain is more intense immediately one gets out of a resting position to walk, and gets better after a few steps.
- Standing for prolonged periods and climbing stairs intensify the pain.
- The foot pain in Plantar Fasciitis usually subsides while resting or at night.
- Foot pain that persists at night could be indicative of conditions like arthritis, tarsal tunnel syndrome, etc.
Treatment Of Plantar Fasciitis:
- Self-therapy like rest, cold compresses, and OTC pain killers can help to treat mild forms of Plantar Fasciitis.
- Patients are advised to avoid triggering conditions such as standing on hard surfaces for prolonged periods.
- Simple stretching exercises such as toe stretches, towel stretches, and calf stretches, done several times each morning are beneficial to patients with the condition.
- Switching to shoes specially designed for patients with foot disorders can help to provide relief from the condition.
- Patients are advised to wear shoes with orthotics like arch supports and cushioned soles. These shoes should be worn in both feet even if the condition affects only one foot.
- Splints to be worn at night and steroidal treatment are recommended at later stages of the disorder.
- Surgery might be needed in rare cases in which pain does not subside after more than 6 months of therapy.