Introduction of Plantar Fasciitis
Plantar Fasciitis? Did you ever experience pain in the heel at the moment just got up in the morning? Or does your heel hurt after a jog or play tennis?
In most cases, heel pain caused by inflammation of the plantar fascia – the tissue along the bottom of the foot that connects the heel bone to the toes. This condition is called plantar fasciitis.
Plantar fasciitis causes stabbing pain or a burning sensation that is usually worse in the morning because the fascia tightens (contracts) throughout the night. As soon as we walk around for a while, the pain caused by plantar fasciitis is usually reduced, but it may be painful after a few long standing or after getting up from a sitting position.
In most cases, the pain of plantar fasciitis goes away by itself without surgery or other invasive treatments. And you can take some steps to prevent further plantar fasciitis.
Symptoms of Plantar Fasciitis
Plantar fasciitis usually develop gradually, but can also come with a sudden and severe pain immediately. And although it can be on both feet, but more often only on one leg.
The symptoms of plantar fasciitis are as follow:
- Sharp pain on the inside of your foot in the heel, which can feel like a knife stabbed in the feet.
- Heel pain that tends to get worse the first few steps after awakening, when climbing stairs or on tiptoe (standing on the tips of the fingers).
- Heel pain arising after prolonged standing or after sitting for long periods and then got up and walked the raised heel pain.
- Heel pain that arises after a workout, but did not occur during moderate exercise.
- Mild swelling in the heel.
Causes of Plantar Fasciitis
Under normal circumstances, the plantar fascia work as a shock absorber fibres (shock-absorbing bowstring), supporting the arch in our foot. However, if the voltage on the fibbers are too large, they can lead to some small tears in the fibres When this happens repeatedly it would fascia becomes irritated or inflamed.
The cause of plantar fasciitis can be caused by:
- Excessive physical activity. Plantar fasciitis is common in long-distance runners. Jogging, walking or climbing stairs can also cause too much stress on the heel bone and the soft tissue attached to it.
- Arthritis. Some types of arthritis can cause inflammation in the tendons of your foot, which can lead to plantar fasciitis.
- Diabetes. Although the mechanism is not known, but the plantar fasciitis occurs more often in people with diabetes.
- Abnormal foot mechanics. Arches, flat or too curved or abnormal walking patterns that can lead our weight distribution is unbalanced acceptable to both legs, and cause extra stress on the plantar fascia.
- Shoes that do not fit. Shoes that are thin soles, loose or no support for the foot arch or no ability to absorb the beat do not protect our feet. If you regularly wear shoes with high heels the Achilles tendon – the tendon that attaches to the heel – can contract / tense and shorten, causing strain on the tissue around the heel.
Risk Factors of Plantar Fasciitis
- Active in sports. Activities that put some stress on your heel bone and attached tissue around the heel is the most common cause of plantar fasciitis. These include running, ballet dancing, and aerobics.
- Foot flat or have a high arch. People with flat feet have less shock absorption, in which it increases the stretch and tension on the plantar fascia. People with a high arch has a tighter plantar tissue, which also causes less shock absorption.
- Middle age or older. Heel pain tends to be more common due to aging causes arch began to plateau, causing stress on the plantar fascia.
- Pregnancy. Weight gain and swelling experienced during pregnancy can cause ligaments (connective tissue) in the body including the legs – to relax. It can cause mechanical problems and inflammation.
- Works. People with jobs that require a lot of walking or standing on hard surfaces, including factory workers, teachers and waitresses, can damage their plantar fascia.
- Wearing shoes with arch support insoles are less rigid.
When To See Doctor for Plantar Fasciitis or Heel Pain
- If you are experiencing heel pain, you can try some of the treatment itself, such as stretching and changing your activities. If there is not much progress after a few weeks, see doctor immediately.
- Seek help sooner if you experience worsening pain despite stretching and changing your activities. If you also have diabetes or another condition that causes poor blood circulation, you should see a doctor to do an early assessment of the changes that occur in your feet.
Test and Diagnosis of Plantar Fasciitis or Heel Pain
- The doctor will ask about your pain complaints and seek points of pain / stiffness in your legs. It can help to rule out other causes of heel pain such as tendinitis, arthritis, nerve irritation or the presence of a cyst. The doctor may also tell you to do X-ray or MRI examination to ensure that you do not experience stress fracture.
- Sometimes, an X-ray showed new bone spurs (spur) of the heel bone. In the past, bone spurs are often blamed as the cause of knee pain and removed by surgery, but it is now known that bone spurs do not cause pain. Surgery to remove the spur is very rare.
Complication of Plantar Fasciitis
- Ignoring plantar fasciitis can cause chronic condition that interferes with your regular activities. You can also experience problems in the foot, knee, hip or back pain due to plantar fasciitis changes the way you walk.
Prevention of Plantar Fasciitis
You can take some simple steps to prevent further pain:
- Maintain a healthy body weight is ideal. This will minimize the stress on your plantar fascia.
- Choose an ergonomic shoes. Avoid shoes with heels that are too low. Buy shoes with a low to moderate heel, have good arch support and absorbs shock / beat well. Do not go barefoot, especially on a hard surface.
- Do not use damaged athletic shoes. Replace your old athletic shoes when it is no longer fit to your feet. If you’re a runner, buy new shoes after used approximately 400 miles.
- Start sports activities slowly. Warming before start any sport or athletic activity, and begin a new exercise program slowly.
- Stretch on waking. Before you get out of bed in the morning, stretch your calf muscles, arch and Achilles tendon by tapping your toes and slowly fold your legs. It can help to reverse the firmness of the plantar fascia that occurs during the night.
Treatment for Plantar Fasciitis
- Oral Medications
- Shockwave therapy
- Surgery may be recommended for severe cases