Everything You Need to Know About Treating Plantar Fasciitis
Plantar fasciitis is a condition responsible for pain beneath the heel or arch in adults, and sometimes children. It is responsible for the inflammation of a thick band of tissue called plantar fascia that connects the heel part of your foot down to the toes, known as the plantar surface of the foot. Plantar fascia is under a tremendous amount of pressure from the weight of the body as it is responsible to support the heel area when walking. While it may be more prevalent among middle-aged women who are obese , anyone can experience it, especially if you’ve had an increase in physical activity recently. Plantar Fasciitis is a condition that causes degenerative as well as chronic inflammatory changes in plantar fascia with or without fibro elastic growth .
According to a study, it has been estimated that more than two million people in the United States are affected by Plantar Fasciitis . It’s important to monitor its symptoms as well as the methods to control it before the situation becomes worse.
SYMPTOMS OF PLANTAR FASCIITIS
Frequent standing for a long duration of time as well as running could result in a tensile overload that can cause acute or chronic changes in the tissue.
One of the most common symptoms associated with Plantar Fasciitis includes an extremely sharp pain at the heel portion of the foot during morning time and resting after performing a heavy task like running, jumping or standing for a long period of time .
Apart from the major symptom of Plantar Fasciitis, other symptoms associated with it include swelling, pain in the foot sole as well as a feeling of tenderness in the feet.
If you notice the above symptoms, you should consult a doctor and opt for diagnostic methods that include an X-Ray or an MRI.
TREATMENT OPTIONS FOR PLANTAR FASCIITIS
It is quite essential to treat this disorder as it affects the daily lifestyle of an individual. The treatment of Plantar Fasciitis is still quite a mystery as the mechanism of healing chronic degeneration is still unknown. However, the symptoms could be brought under control by using the following treatments:
- Application of ice: An ice pack could be an excellent mean to manage the pain caused by Plantar Fasciitis. Providing cold conditions can reduce the flow of blood in the area of pain which causes a decline in inflammation. This method can be used to treat the condition for a short term period.
- Laser Therapy: Some Chiropractic or Physical therapy Offices offer laser therapy that can be of great assistance in healing plantar fasciitis. The laser therapy helps bring oxygen to the ligaments and tendons that do not have a great blood supply. Just one laser treatment has been known to significantly improve the symptoms of Plantar Fasciitis.
- Stretching and Massage: Certain type of massages could prove to be beneficial in reducing the pain caused by Plantar Fasciitis. Stretching the area of your foot with cross friction massage, calf and arch stretch with the help of a towel as well as rolling the region of plantar fascia with a can or a tennis ball are some of the physical exercises that could reduce the effects of Plantar Fasciitis . Techniques such as Graston™ or Gua Sha have been shown to shorten flareups of Plantar Fasciitis.
- Anti-inflammatory medications: Since Plantar Fasciitis is caused by inflammation of the tissue, anti-inflammatory medications may help in the relief of the condition. It can control symptoms such as pain as well as swelling in affected individuals.
- Corticosteroid Injections: Corticosteroid injections have been shown to have good results. However, the effect of this treatment could be short term and would last around 4 to 12 weeks . One should be cautious with steroid injections as they can weaken soft tissues over time and cause rupturing.
- Shock Wave Therapy: This treatment includes inducing a microtrauma into the plantar fascia tissue. This microtrauma causes healing of the tissues. This treatment has proven to be effective in treating the symptoms of pain in a number of people. However, it has also shown no effects on certain people.
- Surgery: Surgery involves the removal of a section of plantar fascia ligament so as to boost the healing process to reduce pain and inflammation. It is generally done when the condition turns out to be chronic and the pain is unbearable.
Since Plantar Fasciitis is increasing among people in the United States, it is important to know the symptoms of it so it can be diagnosed at an early stage and you can follow the above-mentioned treatments. If you are experiencing pain or discomfort near your heels and the pain just gets worse when you are trying to perform an activity, then you should consult a doctor and go in for a diagnosis of Plantar Fasciitis. If it is detected early, this condition can be healed without performing surgery or using medications.
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- Tatli Yousuf, “The real risks of steroid injection for plantar fasciitis, with a review of conservative therapies”, PubMed