P is for Plantar fasciitis

May 16, 2013

Plantar fasciitis is the most common cause of heel pain and the most common musculoskeletal problem seen by Podiatrists.

Plantar fasciitis

Plantar fasciitis is a common foot condition characterized by pain and inflammation in the plantar fascia, a thick band of tissue that connects the heel bone to the toes, providing support to the arch of the foot. It is one of the most common causes of heel pain. A characteristic sign of plantar fasciitis is post-static dyskinesia.

The exact cause of plantar fasciitis is not always clear, but it is often associated with repetitive strain or overuse of the foot.

Risk factors that can contribute to the development of plantar fasciitis include:

  1. Overpronation: When the foot rolls inward excessively while walking or running, it can strain the plantar fascia.
  2. High-impact activities: Running, jumping, or other activities that put repetitive stress on the foot can lead to plantar fasciitis.
  3. Improper footwear: Wearing shoes that lack proper arch support or have worn-out soles can contribute to the condition.
  4. Obesity: Excessive weight can put extra stress on the plantar fascia.

The primary symptom of plantar fasciitis is pain, usually felt on the bottom of the heel. The pain is typically most severe with the first steps after waking up in the morning or after prolonged periods of rest. It may also worsen after prolonged standing or physical activity. In some cases, the pain can extend along the arch of the foot.

Treatment options for plantar fasciitis include:

  1. Rest: Avoid activities that exacerbate the pain and give the foot time to heal.
  2. Ice: Applying ice packs to the affected area can help reduce inflammation and alleviate pain.
  3. Stretching exercises: Stretching the calf muscles and the plantar fascia can help relieve tension and improve flexibility.
  4. Supportive footwear: Wearing shoes with good arch support and cushioning can help alleviate symptoms and prevent further strain.
  5. Orthotic devices: Custom orthotic inserts or arch supports can provide additional support and reduce stress on the plantar fascia.
  6. Physical therapy: In some cases, a physical therapist may recommend specific exercises, ultrasound therapy, or other treatments to promote healing and alleviate symptoms.
  7. Medications: Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) may be prescribed to help reduce pain and inflammation.

Most cases of plantar fasciitis improve with conservative treatments within several months. However, in some instances, more advanced interventions such as corticosteroid injections or extracorporeal shockwave therapy may be considered if symptoms persist.


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