Feet have a difficult job. To continually bear a load of an entire being as humans stumble across the world for centuries. Nowadays, feet may have a simpler life. Billions of dollars invested in shoes, feet should be better than ever before. Many people are suffering many foot and toe injuries, both chronic and acute.
One specific injury worth learning about is Plantar Fasciitis. Plantar is an anatomical term referring to the sole. Fasciitis is a medical term declaring inflammation of fascia. This issue is not genuinely inflammatory but typically degenerative. A better name to call it would be factious. Fascia is a type of tissue in our body. It has a similar appearance to spider webs as it networks in intricate patterns throughout the entire body.
So what causes the plantar fasciitis?
Repetitive stress, poor mechanics, traumatic episode, heel spurs, nerve entrapment, Achilles tendon and calf tension.
Who is at risk?
Individuals with high arches, pes cavus, as well as those with flat feet, pes planus, as both of these essential categories, add physical stress to the tissues of the foot. While some things get better with age, the plantar fascia is not one of them. As the body changes, the medial arch tends to fall asking the plantar fascia to work harder.
What can cause the pain to start?
As mentioned with age, body changes such a weight gain or limited ankle mobility can be named catalyst for this condition. If someone suddenly begins working out intensely this too can aggravate plantar fascia.
Maybe an office worker hopped on board the standing desk wave (which I love) and has now been standing for long periods of time – guess what, that could be enough to begin a case of plantar fasciitis. A pesky heel spur can also be named the culprit. There are different views as to the direct relationship of plantar fasciitis and heel spurs, but there is no question as to their negative influences on one another.
What are vital signs and symptoms?
Usually, the primary area of pain is located along the inside portion of the heel. If one drew a line from the ankle bone straight to the floor, the line would land near the medial calcaneal tubercle. Unfortunately, the pain is not limited to one spot. Tension and pain are often felt the entire length of the arch. The telltale sign is a pain when during the first steps in the morning. Usually walking barefoot, climbing stairs or tiptoe walking makes the pain worse.
What can be done?
Fear not, most people respond well to conservative care. Reducing the tightness in the calf muscles by foam rolling and stretching is a great place to start. A night splint can be worn while one sleeps. Many people avoid this option as they find it difficult to sleep. The brace keeps your ankle at a 90-degree angle, same as while you stand.
This eases morning pains because while in that position, the calf and plantar fascia do not get the chance to shorten as they do when your toes are pointed. Another option of a mechanical aid would be a heel cup. After being placed in one’s shoe, it gives a small bolster and alleviates some tension felt through the foot and calf.
Over the counter, anti-inflammatory medications are often used, but many individuals are leaning away from this approach. Custom orthotics can be very beneficial, particularly those individuals with high or low arches.
Surgery Is An Option
For those who do not respond to conservative care, other options are available with the aid of healthcare professionals. Physicians may use injections to help with both pain and inflammation. In extreme cases showing no improvement in treatment and rehabilitation exercises, a surgeon may suggest cutting the fascia to restart the healing process.
While the mention of surgery has probably catapulted some readers into a panic, know that is not typically necessary. There are many resources online that can help reduce pain and regain strength. There are many healthcare professionals available to help evaluate, treat and rehabilitate injuries.
Take a moment and check out what chiropractors, physical therapists, athletic trainers and massage therapists are in your area. They will be able to help you understand your pain and the causes while creating a treatment and or rehabilitation plan to ensure you can continue living life pain-free as you should to be
To better help you understand the different types of therapists out there, check out this page. It offers a quick summary to help you choose the right healthcare professional. It is not a complete list so do additional research as to what is available in your area.