Have you ever experience stabbing pain that usually occurs with your first steps in the morning? As you get up and move, the pain normally decreases, but it might return after long periods of standing or when you stand up after sitting.
What is planter fasciitis?
Plantar heel pain (PHP) predominantly affects sedentary middle-aged and older adults. About 4-7% of the population suffers from it. In runners, it’s considered the cause of 8% of the complaints. PHP is characterized by pain on the heel with first-step pain and pain during weight-bearing tasks; particularly after periods of rest.
Plantar fasciitis is one of the most common causes of heel pain. It involves inflammation of a thick band of tissue that runs across the bottom of your foot and connects your heel bone to your toes (plantar fascia).
- stabbing pain in the bottom of your foot near the heel.
- The pain is usually the worst with the first few steps after awakening, although it can also be triggered by long periods of standing or when you get up after sitting.
- The pain is usually worse after exercise, not during it.
Your plantar fascia support the arch of your foot and absorbing shock when you walk. If tension and stress on this become too great, small tears can occur in the fascia. Repeated stretching and tearing can irritate or inflame the fascia, although the cause remains unclear in many cases of plantar fasciitis.
- Age- Plantar fasciitis is most common between the ages of 40 and 60.
- Certain types of exercise- Activities that place a lot of stress on your heel and attached tissue — ( long-distance running, ballet dancing and aerobic dance)
- Foot mechanics( Flat feet)
- Occupations that keep you on your feet
Plantar fasciitis is diagnosed based on your medical history and physical examination.
- magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
Most people who have plantar fasciitis recover in several months with conservative treatment, including resting, icing the painful area and stretching.
Pain relievers may ease the pain and inflammation caused by plantar fasciitis.
- Stretching and strengthening exercises – stretch the plantar fascia and Achilles tendon and to strengthen lower leg muscles. A therapist might also teach you to apply athletic taping to support the bottom of your foot.
- Night splints -splint that stretches your calf and the arch of your foot while you sleep. This holds the plantar fascia and Achilles tendon in a lengthened position overnight to promote stretching.
- Orthotics- off-the-shelf or custom-fitted arch supports (orthotics) to help distribute pressure to your feet more evenly.
- Surgical or other procedures
If more-conservative measures aren’t working after several months, your doctor might recommend-Injections. Injecting steroid medication into the tender area can provide temporary pain relief.
- Maintain a healthy weight. Carrying extra weight can put extra stress on your plantar fascia.
- Choose supportive shoes( shoes with a low to moderate heel, thick soles, good arch support and extra cushioning.)
- Don’t walk barefoot
- Try a low-impact sport, such as swimming or bicycling, instead of walking or jogging.
- Apply ice- Icing can help reduce pain and inflammation.
- Stretch your arches. Simple home exercises can stretch your plantar fascia, Achilles tendon and calf muscles.
By- Dr. Vaishali Dwivedi (P.T)
State Executive Board