Plantar fasciitis may be more common than you think, a condition that affects over 3 million people in the US every year. Although it is generally easy to diagnose and treat, proper plantar fasciitis treatment is necessary to prevent yourself from developing new issues.
Plantar fasciitis is actually very treatable and even preventable. With the correct treatment, it is possible to completely rid yourself of heel pain. And luckily, one of the most common causes of plantar fasciitis is something you can control yourself.
In today’s post, we’ll talk about plantar fasciitis causes, plantar fasciitis treatments which can be highly effective and the best ways to prevent it from ever developing.
What is Plantar Fasciitis?
The plantar fascia is the thick band of tissue running from the bottom of the heel bone to the toes, plantar fasciitis is when it becomes inflamed and painful.
Heel pain in the morning is often the most severe or after long periods without walking but subsides with each step you take.
Ignoring the issue can lead to chronic heel pain and adjusting the way you might walk or stand for pain management can lead to more severe issues of the foot, ankle, knee, hip or even back.
Plantar Fasciitis Causes?
Your plantar fascia acts as a bowstring, absorbing shock and supporting the arch of the foot. When stress and tension on this bowstring become too much, small tears can occur and repetitive tension will cause stretching and tears leading an irritated or inflamed plantar fascia - but the exact cause in a lot of cases cannot always be pinpointed.
Plantar fasciitis can develop from regular daily activities such as walking, running, playing sports or even standing for long periods of time. Certain exercises that put a lot of stress on the heel and tissues attached can include long-distance running, ballet or ballistic jumping activities.
Occupations that require long periods of standing can also increase the risk of developing plantar fasciitis - teachers, factory workers, cashiers, pharmacists and others who spend most of their work hours standing on hard floors.
Quick and excessive weight gain or pregnancy can also commonly lead to the development of plantar fasciitis. Aging also may be a factor because as we age, our muscles become weaker.
But the most common issue leading to plantar fasciitis is wearing the wrong footwear, with little to no support.
Treating Plantar Fasciitis
Pain is an indication that something is wrong, if you experience pain it is better to see a specialist sooner than later.
Using home remedies or insoles for relief may help temporarily but in the long run, they can lead you to cause more damage to your foot or joints.
A digital x-ray can help distinguish whether the pain is coming from something else such as a heel spur and digital x-rays at a local podiatrists office is a fraction of the cost of an x-ray or MRI in the hospital, generally under 40 bucks.
A podiatrist may include a stretching regimen for plantar fasciitis treatment. Other treatments may include shoe inserts, steroid injections, extracorporeal shock wave therapy, Tenex procedure and occasionally surgery.
Although recovery time is around 6 months, after a couple years the pain can return if the condition is not continually treated. Treatment must be maintained to keep the pain from coming back.
How to Prevent Plantar Fasciitis
If you have the opportunity to take action before getting plantar fasciitis, there is one simple solution - footwear.
Constantly wearing flats, flip-flops or high heels can be very damaging to the foot. When a shoe has no arch support, your are continually causing strain on the arch and this can eventually lead to plantar fasciitis or a barrage of other conditions such as flat foot.
A “silent killer” with plantar fasciitis is memory foam. You’d think that memory foam is soft and comfortable and conformable to the shape of the foot - but in reality, it provides little to no support and may assist in leading to plantar fasciitis.
Seek Foot Pain Treatment Accordingly
If you find yourself in foot pain, treatment sooner than later will make the biggest difference. When foot pain doesn’t subside on its own or foot treatment at home doesn’t work within a few hours or days, reach out to Highland Podiatry where Podiatrists Dr. Ryan Huntsman and Dr. Elie Elias will take the best care of your feet. With two highly convenient offices in Highland Heights and Sagamore Hills, suburbs of the greater Cleveland area, scheduling an appointment couldn’t be easier - call us at 440-473-0550 or click here to schedule now
Reviewed by Elie Elias, DPM