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Plantar Fasciitis: An Overview

What Is Plantar Fasciitis?

Plantar fasciitis is one of the most common causes of pain at the bottom of the heel. The plantar fascia is a thick, fibrous band of tissue (fascia) which lies at the bottom of the foot and connects your heel to your the toes.

The tissues give support to the muscles and arch of the foot. Tiny tears can occur on their surface when the tissues are overstretched. pain and inflammation. This can cause swelling or inflammation of the tissue and is referred to as plantar fasciitis. 

 

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While walking, the foot has to bear the whole weight of your body, as the tissues are inflamed, it causes tremendous pain in your foot, especially in the heel.

What Causes Plantar Fasciitis?

The plantar fascia functions like a shock-absorbing tissue. This means that it acts as padding between a shock-source (a shock can come from sudden movement, pull or collision and the from the bones inside) when you walk or run. Now, if that tissue is hurt constantly and suffers frequent minor tears, it can get inflamed. This leads to plantar fasciitis.

 

Who Has At Higher Risk Of Getting Plantar Fasciitis?

Many a time, the cause of plantar fasciitis cannot be known. But people with certain lifestyle are seen to be more prone to suffering from this condition.

For example, 

  • Advanced age (40-60 years)

  • Excessive/ untrained exercises (runner, dancer, gymnast)

  • Congenital foot defects

  • Abnormal walking

  • Obesity

  • Excessive physical training in the workplace (like a factory, construction site)

  • Use of improper footwear like high heels

 

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These factors induce more physical strain on your feet and sometimes, sudden trauma which directly affects the plantar fascia.

Can You Prevent Plantar Fasciitis?

Plantar Fasciitis is a kind of injury. So, it cannot really be prevented. But you can still stay cautious. 

  • Be mindful while you walk or exercise so that you do not fall down or put excessive stress on your feet. 

  • If you play a sport or go to the gym, you can wear braces that will reduce the stress on your feet muscle. 

  • If you have a foot deformity or an abnormal walking posture, take proper treatment so that you do not stress out the muscles in your feet while walking.

  • Use comfortable footwear with padding which supports the arch of your foot.

  • In case you have a job that requires standing up or walking for a long time, you can do some relaxing exercises or home remedies to calm down the muscles on your feet.

 

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If you have already suffered from this condition, be even more careful about how you use your feet.

 

How Can You Recognize Plantar Fasciitis?

The symptoms of plantar fasciitis are easy to recognize. Here is how it feels to have this condition:

  • Stabbing pain in your heels.

  • Pain in one or both the feet.

  • More severe pain in the morning right after waking up.

  • Discomfort in using the heel.

  • Pain after doing an activity on foot rather than pain while doing it.

  • Decrease in pain with rest.

If you do not treat this condition and let it grow, it can give birth to various complications like knee pain, back pain, hip pain etc. arising out of the fact that you probably constantly walk in a twisted posture.

 

How Can The Doctor Know If You Have Plantar Fasciitis?

Diagnosis of plantar fasciitis starts with a physical examination where the doctor checks for visible inflammation or redness, pain sensitivity, and judge the strength of the muscle.

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To diagnose this condition, the physical examination is sufficient. But to make sure that there is no underlying condition like a bone fracture or ligament tear or nerve damage, an X-ray or an MRI may be suggested.

 

How Is Plantar Fasciitis Treated?

Initial Treatment: At a very initial stage, you can use home remedies like heat or cold compression to relax the muscle and to reduce inflammation. Arch-support shoes can give you some comfort. But if the pain does not subside with a couple of days, you must visit a doctor. Initially, the doctor will suggest rest and give some anti-inflammatory medicine.

Steroid Injection: In case, the initial treatment does not work, a steroid injection can help undo the damage. At this point, physiotherapy can be very beneficial. Through physical therapy, you will learn how to reduce stress on the affected portion and how to strengthen the neighbouring muscles so that they can support more weight.

Surgery: Surgery is only advice in the case or trauma or severe pain. During surgery, the muscle tissue can be slightly detached from the hell so that it is less stretched while you use your feet. However, this weakens the foot and hence, you must take delicate care of yourself post surgery.

 

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Assistive Devices: While it is advisable that you wear foot braces when you perform strenuous activities on feet, the same braces can also be used to alleviate stress on your plantar fascia. Special orthopaedic shoes can also give you some relief.

Remember: Any treatment is easier and better if it starts in the initial stages of the health condition. If you experience any pain or discomfort in your foot, you can consult our experts at Neelima Hospital. Book an appointment here.

 

About The Hospital:

Neelima Hospitals is an aspiring ’go-to’ multi-specialty medical centre for communities, that look for affordable and effective Healthcare facilities.  Dr P Neelima & Dr P Srinivasulu, the founding members of Neelima Hospitals aspire to ‘serve middle-class people, who need efficient & effective medical treatment, at affordable prices’. Their strong conviction and guiding philosophy motivated them to establish Neelima Hospital in the year 2008.

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