Plantar fasciitis also referred to as “heel pain syndrome” is the most common cause cited for pain in heels. Plantar fasciitis is the pain and inflammation at the point where the flat band of tissue called the plantar fascia connects the heel bone to the toes. Plantar fascia maintains the arch of the foot and applying pressure on it will make it swollen, weak, and irritated. This makes the heel of your foot to ache when you walk or stand for a prolonged period.
Most people suffering from plantar fasciitis experience pain when they walk after resting their feet for long durations. You experience less pain and stiffness after a few steps. But your foot may hurt more as the day goes on. It may hurt the most when you climb stairs or after you stand for a long time. Continuous foot pain at night may suggest a different problem like arthritis or nerve problems.
Straining the ligament which supports the arch can cause plantar fasciitis. Repeated straining can cause tiny tears in the ligament. These can cause pain and swelling. Plantar fasciitis is very evident in cases of:
- Tight Achilles tendon or calf muscles
- Running for long distances, especially on hard & uneven surfaces
- Problems of the foot arch
- Sudden obesity
- Wearing shoes with soft soles or poor arch support
Plantar fasciitis is very common in middle-aged people. It can also occur in athletes, soldiers or even young people who are on their feet for a lot of time. Plantar Fasciitis can occur on one foot or both. Physicians will ask you to stand, walk, or run to observe the movement of the bones in the leg. You will also be asked about your symptoms, level of physical activity, health issues, injuries of past, etc.
Single one step treatment plans are not usually available with such diseases like plantar fasciitis. Several combinational treatment plans that involve surgery, medication, physical therapy and orthopedic rehabilitation are required. Also, care should be taken to minimize the activities that lead to further aggravation of symptoms. At optimum rehab we create customized taking into consideration the lifestyle and physical condition of the person seeking treatment.
Preventing plantar fasciitis involves maintaining a healthy weight, warming up before participating in sports, participating in sports by wearing shoes that support the arch, ensuring flexibility of your ankle, Achilles tendon, and calf muscles. Ice massage also can be used after stressful athletic activities. Trying to control the sugar intake will help prevent plantar fasciitis in diabetic patients even though this has not been proven.