Do you suffer from debilitating heel pain? Are you on your feet a lot for work or other daily activity? You may be suffering from plantar fasciitis, a devastating cause of heel pain. Between 4 and 7 percent of people have heel pain and about 80 percent of those cases are a result of plantar fasciitis. Approximately 10 percent of people will have plantar fasciitis at one point or more of their lives. Plantar fasciitis involves pain and inflammation of a thick band of tissue known as the plantar fascia, which runs across the bottom of the foot from the heel bone to the toes. If you suffer from hell or foot pain, we recommend you visit your local chiropractor or orthotics specialist. Let’s explore what causes the painful problem, what the symptoms are, and how to prevent and treat it.
Plantar fasciitis is common in runners, overweight people, and people who wear shoes with inadequate support. It is also common is middle-aged people and people who are on their feet a lot such as athletes or soldiers. The plantar fascia is the ligament that connects your heel bone to your toes. When you strain it, it becomes weak, swollen, and inflamed. Your heel or bottom of your foot will then hurt when you stand or walk. Repeated strain on your plantar fascia can cause small tears in the ligament and can lead to extreme pain and swelling. People who pronate excessively (roll their feet inwards while walking), have high arches or flat feet, or have tight Achilles tendons or calf muscles may also be more susceptible to plantar fasciitis.
The number one symptom of plantar fasciitis is heel and foot pain. Most people who experience the effects of plantar fasciitis have pain when they take their first steps after getting out of bed or sitting for a long period of time. Stiffness and pain may dissipate after taking a few steps but may hurt more as the day continues. Often, pain is most prominent while climbing stairs or after standing for a long period of time. Foot pain during the night is not a symptom of plantar fasciitis but rather arthritis or even tarsal tunnel syndrome. If you are unsure if you suffer from plantar fasciitis, consult your nearest physical therapist or chiropractor.
Luckily, effective treatment for plantar fasciitis exists. In order to tame the pain, you can take pain relief medication such as ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB, etc.) and naproxen (Aleve) may reduce the pain and inflammation. Effective treatment and rehabilitation includes: physiotherapy, night splints, orthotics, steroid shots, extracorporeal shock wake therapy, and surgery. A physiotherapist can guide you through a series of stretches and exercises to stretch the plantar fascia and Achilles tendon to strengthen lower leg muscles in order to stabilize your ankle and heel. Night splints stretch your calf and the arch of your foot while you sleep. This process facilitates stretching. Orthotics can help you distribute pressure to your feet more evenly and correct over pronation. Steroid shots can provide temporary pain relief. Extracorporeal shock wave therapy use sound waves to target the area of heel pain to stimulate your body’s natural healing process. Surgery provides an option when every other treatment has failed. It detaches the plantar fascia from the heel bone.
If you suffer from heel or foot pain and are unsure of the cause, consult your nearest physical therapist or chiropractor. Plantar fasciitis is a devastating injury no one should have to deal with. Get it treated and get back to living life pain free!