Plantar Fasciitis is a health complication that compromises the functionality of the connective tissue that supports the arch of the foot. The condition might lead to pain in the heel and the bottom section of the foot. The pain often increases as the individual continues with their typical day to day activities, especially those that involve movement. More so, pain also increases when the individual frequently bends the foot and toes towards the shin.
The condition often resolves itself within a few weeks of proper treatment. However, left untreated and the issue might lead to secondary problems such as increased pain in the foot. The plantar fascia plays various vital roles in the body. For instance, it helps to support the arch of the foot, and it also helps to bear the weight. A recent medical study showed that the plantar fascia supports as much as 15% of the load on the foot. More so, the plantar fascia plays a significant role in the gait of the body. It works as a unique spring like a biomechanical solution that helps to conserve energy during movement.
There are various techniques through which the condition can be diagnosed. For instance, it is diagnosed by a medical health professional after evaluating multiple factors. These include clinical exams, the patient’s history, and risk factors. Furthermore, tenderness along the inner sections of the heel bone might also come up during the physical test. The foot might experience issues such as compromised dorsiflexion due to the increased rigidness of the calf muscles. Any such unusual motion can elicit the pain due to the stretching. However, the use of imaging techniques such as MRI and more are not necessarily applicable when checking for the condition. Other diagnosis procedures involve evaluating the feet for issues such as tumors, foot health complications, fractures, and more.
Signs and Symptoms
The first notable sign of the plantar fasciitis is a sharp pain. The pain increases when the individual places increased weight on the heel, particularly after long durations of rest. Furthermore, people with the condition will often report high levels of pain a few minutes after getting off bed. Usually, the individual will experience improved health as the pain decreases with continuous movement. The pain often comes about as a result of the compromised structure of the plantar fascia.
Since it supports close to 15% of the foot load, any pain on the affected area can affect someone`s natural gait and ability to move around effectively. Other rare symptoms include swelling, tingling, numbness, and aching pain. However, the condition does not come with any side effects such as fevers or night sweats. If the affected area continues to be exposed to increased pressure or stress, then the plantar fascia might rupture. The signs that might accompany a rupture include snapping or clicking sounds. Others might also come across issues such as inflammation, swelling, and increased pain.
Various risk factors are associated with the condition of plantar fasciitis. Among some of these significant activities include standing, excessive running, and exposure to weight-bearing activities. The rolling of flat feet inwards frequently during routine activities such as walking increases one’s likelihood of getting plantar fasciitis. Rolling the feet inwards harm the structure of the plantar fascia and its ability to maintain optimal weight. The unusual motion of the feet compromises the structure of the muscles, and can even lead to weakening.
Other factors such as obesity are believed to contributing factors as well. Broadly speaking, plantar fasciitis is a common complication associated with a biomechanical imbalance that places increased weight on the plantar fascia. Any increased weight on the plantar fascia causes it to thicken and can lead to extensive damage. Medical health publications have shown that there is a strong correlation between increased pressure and plantar fascia. As a result, people who have unusual weight or body indexes are highly susceptible to the toe deformity.
Top Self Care Tips
To reduce and control the pain associated with plantar fasciitis, consider these top home remedies:
Maintain Healthy Weight
Various medical health studies have shown a strong correlation between body weight and the occurrence of plantar fasciitis. More so, people with a high body mass index are also likely to suffer from the condition. The main reason behind such an occurrence is that increased places increased weight on the plantar fascia. The plantar fascia can only accommodate a certain amount of weight and tension. As a result, the affected area thickens, and the individual might start to experience various mobility issues. Maintaining a healthy weight and body index helps to reduce the stress that occurs on the plantar fascia. Left unchecked and the increased levels of weight might even cause the plantar fascia to rupture.
Wear the Appropriate Shoes
Perhaps the most useful solution for reducing the occurrence of foot health complications is to wear the proper shoes. Wearing proper shoes provides the feet with a suitable environment for supporting our body weight. In particular, wearing appropriate shoes helps to reduce plantar fascia by ensuring the feet are comfortable and free from issues such as stress. Wearing small or tight shoes for long durations can increase the likelihood of getting the condition. Using the correct shoes also plays a significant role in the recovery process for people who show signs of the foot health condition. More so, it is also recommended that you alternate between different pairs of shoes. So for walks around the block, you might own a pair of hikers, sneakers or runners.
Consider Adjusting your Physical Schedule
If you are prone to getting plantar fasciitis, then you might have to consider adjusting your physical schedule to suit your needs. For instance, a physical health enthusiast might have to find low impact sports such as cycling or swimming. Other sports such as basketball or soccer are likely to expose the plantar fascia to increased pressure. Furthermore, you might also have to consider other factors, such as your day to day movements and activities. You will have to avoid exposing the feet to hard surfaces, or perhaps carrying heavy items frequently. This might even include speaking with supervisors at work to adjust your work schedule to suit the recovery process.
Use the Rice Technique
As soon as possible after you notice any plantar fascia pain issues, you can remedy the pain and promote optimal healing by using the RICE technique. The technique involves the following steps:
- Rest – you need to take some time off your daily schedule to ensure the affected area gets adequate recovery time.
- Ice – using cold is a useful technique for reducing pain and inflammation. You can apply an ice pack or a cold cloth to the affected area for a few minutes. Repeat the process a few times, and in regards to the nature of your pain.
- Compression – wrapping or compressing the affected area with a soft cloth can help to control the swelling. However, ensure that you don’t cover it too tight, because it can lead to pain or cause soreness.
- Elevation – place the injured are on a raised surface to aid recovery and to help control the pain. A good recommendation is to try positioning the feet above the level of your heart to promote optimal blood flow to the feet.
Consider Home Exercises
There are various types of suitable physical activities that can help you remedy plantar fasciitis. However, ensure that you gain insight into the specific steps involved in the given form of physical activity for the best outcomes. Some of these stretching exercises include:
- Standing Calf Stretch – stand by placing hands on the wall for support. Position the feet such as they are facing straight ahead, such that the involved foot is in the back of the other. Ensure that the front leg is bent and that the back should be stretched. Move forward, while also placing the back heel on the floor, such that you stretch the calf muscles in the back of the leg. Maintain this position for a one minute, and repeat 6 – 7 times each day.
- Towel Stretch – the towel stretch is a useful technique for controlling pain, just before you get out of bed. The first step is to place the leg straight out in front on the floor. Place a towel around the foot, and pull the foot toward you. Ensure the position helps you to stretch the calf muscle. Maintain this position for one minute and repeat 6-7 times a day.
- Calf Stretch on Step – stand with the uninvolved foot on a flat and raised platform. Place the affected ball of the foot on the edge of the raised surface. Then, lower the heel gently until you feel a stretch in the calf muscles. Repeat this process for 6-7 times a day.
These are specially made foot support mechanics that are useful if the muscles, ligaments, bones, or tendons are not functioning optimally. They are also helpful if these particular sections of the feet are prone to issues such as pain, discomfort, and fatigue. The foot orthotics are available with many different design features and characteristics. They can consist of various types of materials, may be soft or semi-soft, and they may also accommodate your specific body needs. For the custom orthotics, a medical health professional might have to perform a health evaluation. The process might including evaluating your health history, including your weight, height, medical issues, and more. The determination of the best material for your feet will be developed, followed with an impression of the foot structure. The structure is then used to create an orthotic that suits your foot structure.
Other Useful Treatments for Plantar Fasciitis
There are various other forms of useful treatment approaches for plantar fasciitis. Among some of the commonly used techniques include:
- Avoid walking bare feet – putting on shoes helps to decrease the likelihood that you will expose your feet. The ideal shoe for plantar facsitis has to prove sufficient support for the entire bed of the foot. An excellent recommendation would be sneakers.
- Limiting activities- consider cutting down on extended physical activities to provide your heels with sufficient time for rest. A physical enthusiast or athlete might consider taking some few weeks out from their normal training schedule.
- Medications – there are various types of treatments that can be used to control the pain. These include NSAIDs such as ibuprofen and more. However, medication for pain management is only recommended for a few weeks.
If you still experience after a few weeks of treatment, then you might need advanced treatment to address the health complication. Among some of the suitable treatment, approaches include:
- Padding, tapping, and strapping – putting soft items under the shoe helps to reduce the impact of the shoe. The tapping and strapping help to protect the fascia from any additional pressure.
- Orthotic devices – the best solution will be custom orthotics which are developed to suit your specific characteristics. These are rereffed to as the custom orthotics, which are excellent medical solutions for foot deformities.
- Injection therapy – using medical solutions such as corticosteroid injects can help to control issues such as inflammation and to control the pain
- Night Splint – wearing a night splint helps to extend the plantar fascia as you rest. Using the night splint helps to control the pain that some patients experience. However, ensure that you gain sufficient insight into applying the splint effectively.
- Physical therapy – working out and engaging in physical activity helps to provide relief and restore the functionality of the fascia
Foot health complications such as plantar fasciitis can easily affect any person. Staying informed and implementing the appropriate preventive measures is essential in stopping the condition. The leading causes included walking on hard surfaces and enormous pressure on the fascia. Useful treatment methods include wearing orthotics, limiting activities, custom orthotics, and more. Left unchecked, and the plantar fascia might rupture and lead to secondary damage to the foot. As such, it is also vital that you address the condition while still in its early stages.
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