Wednesday, 23 December 2015

Planter Fasciitis: An overview

Plantar fasciitis is a common cause for heel pain in middle aged individuals. Plantar fascia, which is a belt of tissue connecting the toes and heel bone is built to support the foot’s arch. If you put too much pressure on your ligament, it gets swollen, weak and irritated (inflamed) leading to pain. The problem is most common among older adults. But it may also occur in soldiers or athletes.

How can you find out if you are suffering from Plantar Fasciitis?

Cases related to plantar fasciitis are diagnosed by a health care practitioner based on a physical exam and your symptoms. Physical exam may include pressing the bottom of your feet and looking for any inflammation from the heel to the toes. The physician may also suggest an X-ray to make sure there is no fracture.

What are the treatments?

Most doctors agree that early treatment for the problem should be conservative. Your doctor will advise on the following options:

1. A Heel Pad

Heel pads or custom-made orthotics are used for cushioning the painful heel if you spend too much time on foot especially on hard surfaces.

2. Stretching

Stretching exercises that are performed at least four times a day can assist in elongating the ligaments and heel cord on the bottom of your foot.

3. Ice

Ice packs and ice blocks may be advised to massage the plantar fascia.

4. Pain Relievers

Over-the-counter anti-inflammatory drugs are often helpful in reducing the pain and inflammation. If you’re allergic to such drugs, ask a health care provider for alternatives.

5. Shock Wave Therapy

In case your symptoms persist for more than six months, you may be required to undergo shock therapy. This therapy does not involve incisions, rather it makes use of high intensity shock waves for stimulating healing.

6. Surgery:

One of the most common surgeries for plantar fasciitis is plantar fascia release. It involves making an incision to release a part of the plantar fascia from the bone.

How can I prevent Plantar Fasciitis?

Although there are no guaranteed ways of preventing plantar fasciitis, these tips are helpful:


  • Make sure your weight is under control.
  • Wear supportive, comfortable shoes.
  • Be careful when intensifying or even starting an exercise program.

Plantar fasciitis normally occurs because of wear and tear or injuries that have occurred over a period of time. With proper treatment, you will start feeling the difference within a couple of weeks. However, it will take time for the strain and pain to completely go away. It will take some months to even a year. Stick to your treatment. In case you don't, you may suffer from constant pain when you walk or stand. The earlier you start the treatment, the sooner your problem will start to go away.

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