What is Plantar Fasciitis?
Plantar fasciitis is an inflammation of band of tissue that extends from the heel to the toes. The fascia first becomes irritated and then inflamed resulting in heel and arch pain.
Symptoms of Plantar Fasciitis
- Pain in the bottom of your foot, especially at the front or Centre of the heel bone
- Pain is at its worst when first rising in the morning
- Pain when standing up after any long period of sitting, or after increased levels of activity especially in non-supportive shoes
- For some people the pain eases but returns after spending a long duration of time on their feet.
Causes of Plantar Fasciitis
- Sudden weight gain and excessive weight load on the foot due to obesity or prolonged standing.
- Repetitive stretching and tearing can cause the fascia to become irritated or inflamed.
- Mechanical imbalances of the foot
- Osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis
- Sudden increase in walking or running
- Wearing shoes with poor support, including flip-flops
- Tight calf muscles is a common cause of the disorder
Treatment Options Include:
- RICE-M. (Resting, Icing, Compression, Elevation & Massaging)
- Placing pads in the shoe softens the impact of walking. Strapping helps support the foot and reduce strain on the fascia.
- Orthotics can be fitted into your shoe and help correct the underlying structural abnormalities causing the plantar fasciitis.
- A removable walking cast may be used to keep your foot immobile for a few weeks to allow it to rest and heal.
- Wearing a night splint allows you to maintain an extended stretch of the plantar fascia while sleeping. This may help reduce the morning pain experienced by some patients.
- Stretching and strengthening measures may be used to help provide relief.
It is advised to continue with preventive measures as, the underlying causes that led to plantar fasciitis may remain no matter what treatment is provided. Wearing supportive shoes and using custom orthotic devices are the mainstay of long term treatment for plantar fasciitis.