What is Plantar Fasciitis?
Plantar fasciitis is an extremely painful condition of the heel. It is one of the most common causes of heel pain.
While there are many causes of plantar fasciitis, the most common cause is inflammation of the band of tissue called plantar fascia. The plantar fascia runs along the bottom of the foot, and connects the heel bone to the toes. Patients who suffer from plantar fasciitis report stabbing pain in the heel and bottom of the foot, and typically the pain is worse in the morning when the patient first rises. As the ligaments of the foot loosen up with movement, the pain eases somewhat, but can return to a more severe level if the foot isn't continually in motion.
WHAT ARE THE CAUSES OF PLANTAR FASCIITIS?
The plantar fascia acts as a shock absorber for the arch of your foot. If the tension on this 'shock absorber' becomes too tight, tears can occur in the fascia. These tears can become inflamed and irritated with over-use. plantar fasciitis is a bit of a vicious circle in terms of how it occurs, and how it is relieved. Over use of the foot can cause tears to the fascia, but in order to help reduce pain, you must continue to use the foot.
WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS OF PLANTAR FASCIITIS?
People who suffer from plantar fasciitis report a stabbing pain in the bottom of the foot, usually in the area of the heel. Some patients also experience a feeling of stiffness in the heel and ankle. As well, most patients report a burning sensation that starts on the bottom of the foot and radiates out towards the heel.
PLANTAR FASCIITIS DIAGNOSIS
While many cases of plantar fasciitis are diagnosed based on the symptoms the patient reports, the diagnoses can be confirmed by MRI or X-rays. These tests can also rule out other problems that may be causing your foot pain, pain that appears to mimic that of plantar fasciitis.
RISKS FOR PLANTAR FASCIITIS
There are several things that can put you at risk for developing plantar fasciitis:
While people of all ages can suffer from plantar fasciitis, it is most commonly diagnosed in people between 40 and 60 years of age.
EXISTING PROBLEMS WITH YOUR FEET
If you suffer from other foot issues, such as flat feet or excessively high arches, you are at risk of developing plantar fasciitis.
If you are obese or over weight, your risk of plantar fasciitis rises. When a person is overweight, the pressure on the plantar fascia ligaments increases
PARTICIPATING IN SPORTS
Certain sports, especially those involving running, can raise your risk of developing plantar fasciitis.
If you work in a job that puts a lot of stress on your feet, your risk for developing plantar fasciitis.
HOME TREATMENTS FOR PLANTAR FASCIITIS
While the condition of plantar fasciitis can be exacerbated by inactivity, it is important to allow your feet to rest as well. Elevating your feet and applying ice for twenty minutes at a time at least once each day can help alleviate the symptoms of plantar fasciitis.
Performing gentle stretching exercises on a regular basis can help your feet and ligaments limber. At Complete Balance Chiropractic, we recommend a specific routine for up to 3 minutes per stretch daily. This will help to reduce the pressure and pain caused by tightening of the plantar fascia.
Orthotics are available for purchase 'over the counter.' These orthotics may provide relief, especially for patients who work in jobs where they are on their feet for long hours. If you find that over the counter versions aren't effective, a foot specialist can fit you with custom orthotics.
Along with orthotics, ensure that you wear shoes with good shock absorption and arch support. This will help support the plantar fascia during the day.
TREATMENT AND THERAPY
Special adjustment techniques that make use of low-level force help to correct alignment issues within the feet that lead to plantar fasciitis.
Additionally, the Active Release Technique can be used in conjunction with other treatments, to provide long term relief of the symptoms of plantar fasciitis.
If you are seeking plantar fasciitis treatment in Ralston or the greater Omaha area, we can help!