Plantar fasciitis is an inflammatory condition affecting almost two million Americans every year. Remedies involve healing through exercises as well as professional treatment.
Plantar fasciitis is a common inflammatory condition associated with the overuse of plantar fascia. In common terms, it is known as the arch tendon of the foot. Speaking of the structure of plantar fascia, it is a thick band of tissues and is aligned from the heel to the front portion of the foot. It connects to each and every bone that constitutes the ball of the foot. There is a pad made of fat present in the heel covering the plantar fascia. This pad helps in absorbing the shocks experienced during walking. Heel pain can be experienced if the plantar fascia gets damaged. Plantar fasciitis is known by many other names such as the tennis heel, policeman’s heel, and jogger’s heel. The condition is said to affect young people more.
It is found that the plantar fascia loses its elasticity and becomes like a rope which cannot stretch properly. Moreover, the fat pad covering the plantar fascia also becomes thin, and therefore, the person experiences shocks while walking. Damage caused due to these shocks can lead to swelling, bruising, and tearing of the plantar fascia. Some of the common causes are:
- Obesity is found to be one of the reasons why people suffer from this condition. This is because, obese people are less flexible and agile. Being overweight, they may also be suffering from back aches, which pose limitations of bending down, and thus exerts pressure on the plantar fascia.
- It is also said to occur if one remains standing for an excessively long period of time, which results in continuous pressure on the heel.
- Although not much evidence has been found in this regard, diabetes is said to be another reason for the condition in the elderly.
Over a period of time, it becomes difficult to sustain the pain, and it is likely to create more problems with growing age. There are many treatments available, which include natural remedies like regular exercise as well as therapies.
Regular exercises prove very helpful in curing the disorder.
- Stretches – Opt for stretches for your calf muscles. They help in relaxing the muscles, easing the pain, and also in quick recovery. The exercise is very simple. You just need to stand facing a wall. Lean on the wall with the help of your hands, with the palms resting on the wall. Place one leg in front, and bend the knee. Ensure that you do not put any weight on this leg. Let the other leg be straight, with the heel touching the floor. Now, move your hips toward the wall till you feel a stretch. Maintain this position for about half a minute, and repeat with the other leg.
- Medications – Ibuprofen, which is a non steroidal anti-inflammatory drug, is found to be effective in reducing inflammation and pain.
- Lose Weight – This remedy can help you get rid of many problems! Those ‘extra pounds’ actually put ‘extra stress’ on the plantar fascia. So, fix a schedule of diet and exercise for your weight loss program.
- Adjustment in the Footwear – Get a pair of supportive shoes that offer good arch support. Also, see that the heels are not too high, so as to decrease the stress on the plantar fascia.
- Ice Treatment – Apply a pack of ice when at home. Keep the pack for about 10 – 12 minutes.
- Rest – Do not stress your feet by performing continuous physical activities. Give the feet sufficient rest.
If you are not relieved from the pain even after regular exercises, you can opt for medical help, of course by consulting a specialist.
- Injection Therapy – This therapy involves the use of corticosteroid injections in order to reduce pain and inflammation. However, this provides temporary relief from the pain.
- Physical Therapy – On seeking advice, the specialist will prescribe some more exercises, and also teach you the right way to do them. This would help in getting rid of the problem in less time.
- Orthotic Devices – Structural abnormalities are also one of the causes of plantar fasciitis. In this case, a foot and ankle surgeon would fit an orthotic device into your shoes which will help in correcting the structural abnormalities.
Disclaimer: This HealthHearty article is for informative purposes only, and should not be replaced for the advice of a medical professional.