Plantar Fasciitis: What You Need to Know to Get Back on Your Feet

Plantar fasciitis is a painful condition caused by inflammation of the band of tissue that connects the heel to the toe. Your doctor can usually tell if you have this condition by looking for tender areas in your feet. They can usually determine the cause of the pain based on its location. They cannot do imaging tests. In rare cases, they may recommend X-rays or an MRI to rule out other causes, such as pinched or compressed nerves in the heel or stress fractures.

Symptoms of Plantar Fasciitis

Plantar Fasciitis: What You Need to Know to Get Back on Your Feet

Plantar fasciitis is irritation and swelling of the thick tissue under the foot. This tissue is called the plantar fascia. It connects your calcaneus to your toes, forming your arch. Plantar fasciitis occurs when you stretch or overuse this thick strip of tissue. It can be painful and difficult to walk.

If you experience pain and stiffness in the soles of your feet and heels, you may have plantar fasciitis. 

The classic symptom of plantar fasciitis is pain that worsens with the first steps in the morning, but not everyone suffers from this symptom. Patients usually notice at the start of an activity that the pain lessens or disappears as they warm up. The pain, sometimes accompanied by stiffness, also occurs when standing for long periods. In more severe cases, the pain may also worsen at the end of the day. 

The most common symptom associated with Plantar Fasciitis is pain and stiffness of the heel. Heel pain can be dull or sharp. Pain or burning may also be present on the soles of the feet. Plantar fasciitis can cause heel pain. It’s usually worse when you take your first steps in the morning or after sitting too long. It tends to get better with activity but gets worse again after prolonged standing.

Plantar Fasciitis: What causes it? 

Plantar Fasciitis: What You Need to Know to Get Back on Your Feet

The role of the plantar fascia is to provide static support and dynamic shock absorption for the longitudinal arch of the foot. People with flat feet (low or flat feet) or high arches (high arches) are at higher risk for plantar fasciitis. Other anatomical risks include excessive pronation, irregular leg length, excessive lateral torsion of the tibia, and excessive femoral anteversion. Functional risk factors include stiffness and weakness of the gastrocnemius, soleus, Achilles tendon, and intrinsic foot muscles. 

However, overuse, not anatomy, is the most common cause of plantar fasciitis in athletes. A history of increased weight-bearing activities is common, especially those involving running, which can cause microtrauma to the plantar fascia and exceed the body’s ability to repair. Plantar fasciitis also occurs in older people. In these patients, the problem is usually more of a biomechanical problem, usually related to low intrinsic muscle strength and force dampening secondary to acquired flat feet made worse by the diminished ability of the body to heal itself.

Treatment of Plantar Fasciitis

Plantar Fasciitis: What You Need to Know to Get Back on Your Feet

In general, plantar fasciitis is a self-limiting disease. Unfortunately, the time to resolution is usually 6-18 months, which can be frustrating for both patients and doctors. In one study, 25% of people with plantar fasciitis believed that rest was the most effective treatment. 3 Athletes, active adults, and those working in occupations that require a lot of walking may not follow instructions to limit all activity and not strike. Many sports physicians have found that creating a “relative rest” plan, in which activities that aggravate symptoms replace other forms of activity, increases the likelihood of adherence to the treatment plan.

Stretching and strengthening programs play an important role in the treatment of plantar fasciitis and can correct functional risk factors such as gastrocnemius complex stiffness and intrinsic foot muscle weakness. It is especially important to increase the flexibility of the calf muscles. Putting on well-fitting, well-fitting shoes can help some patients. Patients often find that wearing well-cushioned shoes with thicker midsoles (often made of materials such as high-density ethylene-vinyl acetate (found in many running shoes)) reduces the pain caused by prolonged walking or standing. Theoretically, people with low arches have a reduced ability to absorb the forces generated by kicking. The three most commonly used mechanical corrections are arch bands, over-the-counter arch supports, and custom orthotics. 

In a randomized treatment study, arch supports and orthotics were found to be significantly better than the use of NSAIDs, cortisone injections, or heel cups. Anti-inflammatory medications used to treat plantar fasciitis include ice, NSAIDs, iontophoresis, and cortisone injections. Ice Treat plantar fasciitis with ice massages, ice baths, or ice packs. For an ice massage, patients freeze water in a small paper or foam cup and rub the ice cubes on the sore heel in circular motions, applying moderate pressure for five to 10 minutes. 

Plantar Fasciitis: Recovery

Plantar Fasciitis: What You Need to Know to Get Back on Your Feet

Plantar fasciitis usually takes 3 to 12 months to improve. However, how quickly you heal depends on your activity level and how often you use home remedies. But again, if you don’t feel relieved, don’t wait to seek treatment. Make an appointment with a podiatrist. They will be able to rule out other possible injuries and suggest other treatments or techniques that may speed your recovery.

Plantar fasciitis recovery time depends on several factors, some of which are mentioned here. How long a patient experiences heel pain can affect plantar fasciitis recovery time. Patients who report plantar fasciitis symptoms early to the clinic are usually able to recover within a week or two. The severity of plantar fascia injury can also affect plantar fasciitis recovery time. This can be measured with ultrasound imaging. The larger the injury to the plantar fascia, the more severe the inflammation and, therefore the longer it will take to fully recover. 

The presence of a plantar fascia tear can also affect recovery time from plantar fasciitis. Of course, tears take longer to heal. Occupation is an important factor in plantar fasciitis recovery time. Patients who do heavy work on their feet for long periods of time sometimes take longer to heal than those who do less strenuous work. Recovery time for plantar fasciitis in these patients can be 8 to 12 weeks instead of 6 weeks. Weight can affect plantar fasciitis recovery time. Heavier patients experience more pressure on their feet, so they may take longer to heal.

Nutrition Importance For Plantar Fasciitis

Plantar Fasciitis: What You Need to Know to Get Back on Your Feet

What we eat is important for our overall health. Healthy food choices can reduce the risk of certain diseases, including heart disease and stroke, diabetes, and cancer. But a poor diet can facilitate inflammation in patients with plantar fasciitis. When the body receives an inflammatory signal, it tries to deal with the internal danger of injury.

Foot pain associated with plantar fasciitis, or inflammation of the plantar fascia, is caused by inflammation. When certain foods are eaten in excess, it can trigger the worsening of the condition.  Some of the foods to control above are listed here. Avoid animal protein sources that contain too much saturated fat, such as red meat. Prepared foods containing refined grains, sugar, and trans fats should also be eaten in limited amounts. White flour or vegetable oils high in omega-6 fatty acids (such as corn oil, soybean oil, and sunflower oil) should also be avoided in pasta, snacks, and desserts.

A balanced diet with plenty of fresh vegetables and fruits can reduce chronic inflammation. Other healthy foods to add include protein sources like beans and legumes, omega-3-rich fish like tuna and salmon, whole grains, lean meats, nuts, and seeds.

Things to note if you have Plantar Fasciitis

Plantar Fasciitis: What You Need to Know to Get Back on Your Feet

Proper foot support is key to relieving the pain of plantar fasciitis. No matter what exercise program you have or what sport you enjoy, make sure your shoes have good arch and heel support. Activities such as swimming, biking, yoga, or elliptical aerobics do not cause plantar fasciitis, nor can they make it worse if you have it. Be sure to stretch your calves and feet before and after exercising. Activities like running and jumping put a lot of stress on your feet, and they can also tighten your calf muscles if you don’t stretch them first.

Simple home exercises can strengthen the plantar fascia. 

Pay particular attention to stretching the calves, Achilles tendons, and soles of the feet. Additional exercises that strengthen the calf and foot muscles can help stabilize the ankle, reduce pain, and prevent the recurrence of plantar fasciitis. Once your feet feel better, you can make lifestyle changes to prevent plantar fasciitis from recurring. 

Being overweight or obese can put more pressure on the soles of your feet. This pressure can lead to plantar fasciitis. Choose shoes with good support. Change your sneakers regularly. Stay away from high heels. Do not walk barefoot on hard surfaces. Call your healthcare provider if symptoms do not improve with treatment.

Wrapping It Up

See your doctor if you have or think you have plantar fasciitis. You don’t have to suffer. Especially when there is an experienced team nearby. Your foot has 52 bones, joints, ligaments, muscles, and tendons. Your feet are complex and have a lot to do, so when they hurt, it can affect your mobility and your quality of life. 

Plantar fasciitis is a condition that causes sharp shooting pains on the soles of the feet. Things you take for granted, like getting out of bed in the morning or going to the bathroom, won’t be easy if you neglect your foot health.

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