Do You Have Plantar Fasciitis?
Repeated injuries to the facia are believed to be what cause plantar fasciitis. The injury is often near where the heel bone and the plantar fascia are attached to each other.
These situations may cause injury in your plantar fascia:
- Being on your feet for long periods of time; or doing lots of walking, running, and standing especially when you are not used to doing those activities
- Doing exercises on a surface that is different from what you’re used to, like switching from track to road
- Wearing footwear with really poor arch support or cushioning
- Being overweight
- Overusing your sole when increasing intensity of activity or having poor technique
- Having a tight Achilles tendon
There is often no obvious cause for plantar fasciitis, especially when it occurs in older people. A common misconception is that the pain is caused by a bony spur or growth that comes from the heel bone. There are indeed a lot of people who have a bony spur of the heel bone but they do not always develop into plantar fasciitis.
The main symptom would be pain. This can be felt anywhere on the underside of your heel. But often, one spot is pointed as the source of the pain. It is usually about 4cm forward from your heel, a spot that is quite tender to touch.
The pain gets worse every morning when you take your first steps and after long periods of rest when your feet are relieved of any weight. Stretching your sole suddenly may worsen the pain. You can stretch your sole when you walk upstairs or tiptoes. Pain can range from being just like a nuisance to causing you to limp because of pain.
Pain usually eases in time. Similar to ligament tissues, fascia tissue heals slowly though, and may take months or more to fully recover. Treatments may help speed up your recovery. You may try these conservative treatments that work for plantar fasciitis:
- Rest your feet for a while. Avoid excessive walking, running and standing as these activities stretch your soles. If you should exercise, do it gently.
- Get yourself some pads and shoe inserts to cushion your heels and support your arches.
- Avoid walking barefoot on hard surfaces.
- You may try some anti-inflammatory medicines as well as running creams or gels on the affected heel. An ice pack may also help relieve pain.
There are of course, more advanced treatments if the above-mentioned approaches do not work. You may get try extracorporeal shock-wave therapy, and laser treatments and orthotics. If pain persists, you may need steroid injections or in rare cases, surgery. Most people recover from plantar fasciitis within a year. Check with a podiatrist such as Sheldon Nadal at Bayview Medical Centre to know what treatment is best for your case.