Plantar Fasciitis

A00149F02This condition is responsible for most heel and foot pain among young athletes and people who stand long periods of time. It involves pain and inflammation of a thick band of tissue, called the plantar fascia that runs across the bottom of your foot and connects your heel bone to your toes.

Plantar fasciitis commonly causes stabbing pain that usually occurs with your very first steps in the morning. Once your foot limbers up, the pain of plantar fasciitis normally decreases, but it may return after long periods of standing or after getting up from a seated position.

Plantar fasciitis is particularly common in runners. In addition, people who are overweight and those who wear shoes with inadequate support are at risk of plantar fasciitis. Plantar fasciitis typically causes a stabbing pain in the bottom of your foot near the heel. The pain is usually worst with the first few steps after awakening, although it can also be triggered by long periods of standing or getting up from a seated position. Under normal circumstances, your plantar fascia acts like a shock-absorbing bowstring, supporting the arch in your foot. If tension on that bowstring becomes too great, it can create small tears in the fascia.

RISK FACTORS

  • AGE: There are more reported instances in people 40-60 years old
  • CERTAIN SPORTS: Long-distance running, ballistic jumping activities, ballet dancing, aerobics can put a lot of stress on the fascia lying on the bottom of the heel
  • FOOT SHAPE: People with flat-feet, high arches, or even abnormal walking patterns have unevenly distributed weight and thus put more stress on the plantar fascia
  • OBESITY: People who are obese can put extra stress on their plantar fascia leading to more wear and tear as time goes on
  • OCCUPATION: Teachers, nurses, and people who tend to be on their feet for a large portion of the day can put a lot of excess stress on their plantar fascia

COMPLICATIONS:

  • Chronic heel pain: Ignoring plantar fasciitis can lead to long term damage that may impact ability to complete regular activities
  • Other chronic issues: Compensating for your heel pain can lead to increased stress on other areas of the body and may lead to chronic back pain, leg pain, and neck pain. 

TREATMENT OPTIONS:

  • INSOLES: Insoles can help support your foot and correct any structural abnormalities which may contribute to plantar fasciitis.
  • STEROIDS: Steroid shots can help reduce inflammation within the plantar fasciitis. 
  • PHYSICAL THERAPY: Physical therapy can help strengthen the plantar fascia and surrounding muscles
  • ICE: ice can help reduce inflammation
  • CHIROPRACTIC: A chiropractor can help suggest exercises and stretches to strengthen surrounding muscles, and may also include soft tissue work to increase circulation healing and lymph drainage in the area. 
  • SHOCK-WAVE THERAPY: A Machine will artificially stimulate blood flow around the affected area by breaking up adhesions and confusing nerve signals with shock waves. 
  • TENEX PROCEDURE. A doctor will make a small laceration on the heel surface and administer targeted ultrasound to break down scar tissue. 
  • SURGERY: Complete removal of the plantar fascia is typically only done as a last resort. Surgery usually is done in one day and requires a boot and splint for an extended period of time. 

Plantarfasciitis is a condition that can be treated conservatively for most parts, the longer the patient ignores the symptoms there is higher chance that the condition would turn into a chronic inflammatory process. Most cases can be treated with the correct treatment plan; the goal of the treatment should be to avoid surgery or injections.