The main symptom of plantar fasciitis is pain in the heel area. The person feels the maximum pain after waking up: getting out of bed, he can hardly step on the leg. Doctors call this phenomenon “morning pain of the first step”. If the person overcomes it and, despite the discomfort, start walking, it will decrease or even disappear. However, during the day the pain may occur again, such as when a person stands up after he sat awhile.
The cause of pain is inflammation of the plantar fascia. This is the layer of tough fibrous tissue that runs along the bottom surface of the foot. In fact, this is the copula, and one of the longest and strongest in our body. it like a rope binds, connects the heel bone with the metatarsal bones and at the same time supports the longitudinal arch of the foot.
Where it all begins
There are several factors that can lead to plantar fasciitis. The most important is the development of a flatfoot. When the arch of the foot flattens, the plantar fascia is stretched excessively and micro ruptures appear. Injuries are particularly expressed in the place where the fascia attaches to the calcaneus, therefore, inflammation appears there.
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Another risk factor is the presence of excess weight, which increases the load on the plantar fascia. Change in habitual physical activity, such as intense fitness training or hard workout can provoke fasciitis also. If you do nothing, the heel pain can remain from 6 to 18 months on average. Then it may back off, but soon it returns.
Therefore plantar fasciitis necessarily requires treatment – it is necessary to reduce the inflammation and eliminate the cause of the disease. The therapy at the physician’s discretion may include several methods. By the way, Jeremy Roberts’ book “Fast Plantar Fasciitis Cure” presents the unique method of treating plantar fasciitis at home. Be sure to download and read this guide. You will learn a lot of new!
These exercises are for stretching muscles of the foot. Calf muscles work too because the tension in them worsens during plantar fasciitis. This is an effective way to reduce heel pain, but only if you practice it regularly.
Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs relieve pain, but you can’t take them for a long time due to a large number of side effects.
Wearing of custom orthotic insoles (orthoses)
They are made from a cast specifically for each patient. It is important that the insoles were full contact that is the insoles should have contact with the foot over its entire area. Only in this case, they will restore the normal height of the longitudinal arch of the foot, it will reduce the plantar fascia tension and pain will leave. The severity of pain reduces in the first weeks of continuous wearing of insoles. Today this method is considered the most reliable and assures long-term effect.
This is a special orthopedic device, similar to a plastic boot. It should be worn at night to prevent the stretching of the plantar fascia. These splints can reduce the pain of the first-morning step. But they are quite bulky, it is not too convenient to use them.
Shock-wave therapy (SWT)
Now it is a trendy technique, which is used in various diseases. Plantar fasciitis is not an exception. However, studies have shown that SWT is not always relieved pain totally and this effect is not stored for a long time. In addition, the procedure itself is painful and the cost of treatment is quite high.
Corticosteroid injections into the site of inflammation
Medicines reduce the pain but have many side effects. Besides in the process of this injection, there is the risk of rupture of the fascia, especially when people have excess weight. Therefore, the procedure is used only if the other methods did not help.
This is an extreme measure and it should be used if conservative treatment was carried out for six months, but the pain has not decreased. Part of the plantar fascia is excised, and its tension decreases. It reduces pain but can lead to the accelerated development of flatfoot, and hence to the emergence of new problems. If you have the opportunity it is better not to bring the problem before surgery. Do not neglect the recommendations about gymnastics and wearing of special insoles – this requires not so many efforts.