Plantar Fasciitis Treatment and Care in North Texas
The ligament that runs at the base of the foot and connects the heel bones to the front of the feet and supports the arch is known as Plantar fascia. It serves as shock absorber to the feet. When it is over-stressed, it can lead to tears in the tissue.
Plantar fasciitis is a common cause of heel pain that involves the inflammation of a thick band of tissue that goes through the base of your foot and connects your heel bone with your toes.
Plantar fasciitis generally causes a sharp pain that typically happens when you take the first steps in the morning. The pain typically decreases as you move more and may return after standing for a long period of time or after you have stood up from sitting for a long time.
Causes of Plantar fasciitis
The major cause of plantar fasciitis is over-stressed or too much pressure exerted on the heel and foot. Repeated force or pressure can make the ligament to become inflamed. Excessive wearing of high heels can also cause excess pressure to be exerted on the heel and could cause inflammation to the ligament.
- Flat feet: Individuals with flat feet are at higher risk of developing plantar fasciitis. This is because the flat feet cause an uneven distribution of weight on the feet when the individual is walking. It exerts more pressure and stress on the fascia.
- Jobs that require long time of standing or walking: Individuals that have jobs where they need to stand or walk for a long time are also at risk of developing plantar fasciitis. This is because excess force or pressure is being exerted on the feet which cause pains and could damage the plantar fasciitis.
- Individuals who wear high heels or shoes that are not balanced: Individuals who always wear high heels or shoes that are not balanced are at high risk of developing the condition. Wearing high heels causes more pressure to be exerted on the heels which could cause inflammation of the ligament.
- Athletes and certain types of exercises: Athletes who are always running, jogging or jumping also have a higher risk of developing the condition. Sprinters, ballet dancers, aerobic dancers and footballers are at higher risk because they exert great pressure on their feet.
- Age: Individuals who are between the age of 40 and 60 are more prone to developing plantar fasciitis.
- Obesity: Individuals who are overweight exert excess pressure on their feet and could lead to plantar fasciitis.
Individuals with Plantar fasciitis usually feel a stabbing pain beneath their foot close to the heel. The pain is worse when you take the first few steps after just waking up. The pain may decrease when you take more walks. You may also feel more pain when you stand or walk for a long period of time. You may also feel worse pain after an exercise.
The pain may cause you to walk abnormally. Knee, hip, and back problems may develop from walking abnormally for a long period of time.
When undergoing diagnosis for plantar fasciitis, your doctor will review your medical history and conduct some physical examinations. Your doctor will physically examine your foot for areas of tenderness and where you feel pains. You may be asked to take a little walk to know if you are not walking straight.
Your doctor may also conduct imaging tests such as X-ray, MRI, or CT scan. These imaging tests will allow your doctor to view the internal structure of your bones to know if there is any fracture or pinched nerve.
There are different treatment options for plantar fasciitis. Depending on the severity of the condition, you may treat it with home remedies or seek medical help.
Treatment options include:
- Home Remedies – Home remedies are self-service treatments that can be done at home. You can use the home remedies treatment when the condition is not severe. Home remedies treatment include:
- Applying ice – You can apply ice packs three to four times a day for about 15 minutes each time. The ice packs should be wrapped in a damp towel before placing it on the heel. Applying ice packs causes pain relief.
- The use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS) – Using non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs helps to reduce discomfort and inflammations.
- Splint – Wearing a splint at night before bed can help reduce pain and discomfort. The splint helps to stretch the arch and calf.
- Orthotics – Foot orthotics are specially produced to support the foot. Orthotics support the arch and help to evenly distribute the weight exerted on the heel when walking, running or standing.
- Switching activities – Reduce the rate of engaging in high-impact activities such as sprint, jumping and other high-impact exercises or activities.
- Medical treatments – Medical treatments are required for severe cases where the pains do not go away after the home remedies treatments.
Medical treatment options include:
- Steroid injections – Steroid injections are administered when the pain is severe and persistent. An anti-inflammatory steroid medication will be injected into the heel where the pain is felt. Steroid injections help to eliminate pains and reduce inflammations.
Steroid injections should not be taken too often as it can weaken the fascia.
- Prescription medications – You can also take pain killers that are prescribed by your doctor to reduce the pain.
- Exercises – Some certain exercises can help relieve pain on the feet. Certain stretching exercises such as yoga, can help reduce heel pain and prevent plantar fasciitis. Exercises such as seated fascia stretch, seated ankle pumps, and standing calf stretch can help to relieve pains.
- Physical therapy – You can also follow the instruction of your physical therapist to engage in exercises that will alleviate the pains. Exercises to stretch the plantar fascia and Achilles tendons can help to strengthen the lower leg muscles and stabilize your heel and ankle.
- Extracorporeal shock wave therapy – This procedure entails using sound waves to heel pain. Sound waves are directed to the pain area to stimulate healing. The procedure is usually used for chronic plantar fasciitis that is not responding to other treatment options.
However, this procedure hasn’t proven to be consistently effective and may cause swelling, numbness or pain.
- Surgery – Surgery is the last resort when all other treatment options have failed. There are different surgical procedures for severe plantar fascia.
You can prevent being affected by plantar fasciitis by:
- Maintain a healthy weight – Obesity can lead to plantar fasciitis; hence you need to always maintain a healthy weight so as not to exert a lot of pressure on your feet.
- Wear comfortable shoes. Avoid wearing high heels or shoes that are not well-balanced. If you must wear heels, it shouldn’t be too high. Wear comfortable shoes with good arch support and insoles. Do not wear shoes with worn-out soles. Avoid going barefooted on hard floors. If you are an athlete, always wear comfortable shoes with good shock absorbency.
- Don’t stand, walk or run for a long period of time – Minimize how long you stand, walk or run. Always change positions so as not to exert too much pressure on your feet. You can sit on a chair for a while before standing up again.
- Avoid high-impact sports or activities – Try as much as possible to avoid high-impact sports and activities where extreme force is exerted on the heel and foot. Engage more in low-impact sports and activities.