Plantar Fasciitis – Conditions

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Overview

Plantar fasciitis is a common orthopedic issue that affects feet and the lower legs. When the plantar fascia becomes inflamed, it causes pain in the heel area of the foot. It is mostly caused by inflammation of a broad band of tissue that runs across the sole of your foot and connects your heel bone to the base of each of your toes, known as the plantar fasciitis. This cushioning and support for the arch of your foot as you walk makes it simpler to move around and walk more comfortably.

While going about your daily business, your plantar fascia ligaments are exposed to a significant lot of pressure and tension. In certain cases, excessive pressure applied to the foot may result in ligament damage or rupture. Plantar fasciitis is an inflammation of the plantar fascia that causes it to become uncomfortable and inflexible, resulting in heel pain and stiffness.

This common foot condition produces stabbing pain in the morning. Although the pain usually subsides when you get up and walk about, it may reappear after prolonged periods of standing or when you get up from a sitting position.

Runners are more likely than non-runners to get plantar fasciitis. Obese individuals, diabetics and people who wear shoes with inadequate support are more likely to develop plantar fasciitis.

Causes

The fascia of your foot provides support for the muscles and arch of your foot. When it is overstretched, it may develop little rips on the surface of the material resulting in pain and inflammation. 

Some of the risk factors for plantar fasciitis are discussed:

Men and women (between the ages of 40 and 70) who are physically active are at the greatest risk of getting plantar fasciitis. Women are significantly more likely than men to be affected by this condition. Plantar fasciitis is a common occurrence among pregnant women, especially in the late stages of pregnancy, and it may be quite painful.

Overweight or obese individuals are at increased risk of getting plantar fasciitis in their feet and ankles. When you gain weight quickly, the strain on plantar fascia ligaments increases, which may lead to heel pain and other problems.

Plantar fasciitis is more prevalent among long-distance runners, and it may be difficult to recognize the symptoms of the disease in its first stages. Working in a physically demanding job that needs you to be on your feet for extended periods of time, such as being a factory worker or a restaurant server, may also put you at risk.

Plantar fasciitis is more prone to develop in those who have structural problems with their feet, such as very high arches or very flat feet. Tight Achilles tendons, the tendons that link your calf muscles to your heels, may cause ankle pain. Plantar fasciitis may also be worse by wearing shoes with a soft bottom and insufficient arch support.

Symptoms

Patients with plantar fasciitis often experience pain around the bottom of their heels, as well as the bottom of their midfoot area on occasion. However, it has the ability to infect both feet. It usually only affects one foot at a time.

Plantar fasciitis is characterized by increasing heel pain that worsens over time and is caused by overuse of the foot. In nature, the pain may be minor or severe depending on the situation. The patient may experience a burning or painful feeling on the sole of their foot that radiates outward from the heel.

Most of the time, the discomfort is greater in the morning. Because of heel stiffness, it may be very difficult to climb stairs. Pain may flare up after engaging in strenuous exercise for an extended period owing to increased inflammation. Plantar fasciitis patients often may not feel pain while doing an activity, rather after they have stopped.

Diagnosis

The individual’s medical history as well as physical examination are used to establish plantar fasciitis diagnosis. Your doctor will check for any sore areas on your foot throughout the examination. The location of your pain may help you figure out what is causing it.

Whether your foot is flexed while the doctor is pushing on the plantar fascia, he or she may ask you to point your toe to observe if the discomfort becomes better or worse as you flex your foot and point your toe. In addition, the physician notes any swelling or redness that may be present. 

Your doctor will examine you for your sense of touch and sight coordination, balance reflexes, and muscle tone in order to determine the strength of your muscles and the health of your nerves.

In most cases, no testing is required. To ensure that another issue, like a stress fracture, is not causing you discomfort, your doctor may recommend an X-ray or MRI.

An X-ray may show a spur (a piece of bone projecting from the heel bone). These bone spurs were previously frequently blamed for heel pain and surgically removed. Many people with bone spurs on their heels, on the other hand, do not experience heel pain.

Treatment

Physical therapy is used to treat plantar fasciitis, and it is a critical component of the treatment process for this condition. The plantar fascia may be stretched because of this activity. You may learn exercises to strengthen the muscles in your lower legs from a physical therapist, which can help to stabilize your gait and decrease the strain on your plantar fascia.

Pain relievers are also prescribed in order to alleviate pain and inflammation.

When to see a doctor

As soon as you notice heel pain, you should get medical attention . If your pain is accompanied by other symptoms such as redness, fever, numbness, or warmth in your heel, you should look for medical attention immediately. Another indication that it is time to visit a doctor about your Plantar Fasciitis is if you experience discomfort when you put weight on the heel of your foot. Any injury that produces discomfort in this area may be indicative of more serious damage and should be evaluated by a medical professional.