Also known as jogger’s heel or plantar fasciosis, plantar fasciitis is a disorder that brings about pain on the bottom of the foot as well as the heel. Usually felt most severely when you take the first steps of the day and also after a period of rest, the pain is triggered when the foot and toes are bent up in the direction of the shin. The condition is made even worse with a tight Achilles tendon.
The disorder is brought on when the plantar fascia, which is the long ligament that can be found connecting the forefoot and the heel bone, develops tiny fissures that result in inflammation and pain. Often, this will feel like a stabbing pain or ache under your heel. If the damaged ligament is subjected to even more stress, you will additionally experience a sharp pain on the sole of the affected foot.
Plantar fasciitis does not exhibit a completely clear origin. However, it is considered to occur more frequently with overuse, such as being on your feet for long periods. Incidence also increases in obesity and high exercise level. Additionally, the condition is associated with a sedentary lifestyle or having little exercise, as well as inward rolling of the foot. Heel spurs, or calcium deposits that result in a bony protrusion on the heel bone’s underside, have been frequently demonstrated but their relation to plantar fasciitis is too hazy to determine in terms of whether they have a role in causing the disorder itself.
Incidences of heel pain are reported in 4 to 7 percent of people at a given time, with about 80 percent of those cases being attributable to plantar fasciitis. Around 10 percent of people have been proven to demonstrate the disorder at some point in their lives, which also becomes more common as you age. However, it has not been determined whether plantar fasciitis affects one gender to a greater degree than the opposite gender. The condition exhibits a slow start, with about one third of sufferers having both legs affected. No incidences of night sweats and fevers can be demonstrated significantly.
Majority of plantar fasciitis sufferers subjected to traditional methods of treatment seem to exhibit resolution of their condition with time. A change of lifestyle, adequate rest for the affected foot, stretching and pain medication are prescribed for the first few weeks. For some people, putting ice on the area, taking some ibuprofen and staying off the feet will be enough to make the inflammation go away so the plantar fascia heals.
If that proves to be insufficient, physiotherapy is advised. The therapist will go about bringing down the overstretched condition of your damaged ligament. This may involve a night splint at the beginning to support your foot in a flexed position at night and ensure that the plantar fascia will not tighten up as you sleep, so it won’t get re-torn when you put your weight on it as you get up. The night splint is an effective cure for some individuals, but those whose condition is a bit more stubborn may be advised to use orthotics, which can also be effective for some.
Surgery is the last resort if the conditions gets bad enough for too long. Steroid injections can be an option as well, along with extracorporeal shockwave therapy.
Generally, anything that loosens and also warms the muscles can be helpful. Damp heat reduces muscle tension, and a foot spa with Epsom salts would be bliss for the stressed ligament of the affected foot. Some foot spas even provide deep tissue massage and stimulation for heel spurs, plantar fasciitis or just sore and tired feet thanks to their built-in massagers and heat and air pressure functionality.