If you are having trouble walking due to pain in your heel, you might be suffering from a condition known as Plantar Fasciitis. According to research, this common condition accounts for about 80% of all cases of heel pain. It is caused by the inflammation of a band of tissue known as the plantar fascia. This band runs along the bottom of your foot from your toes to the heel bone.
Plantar fasciitis causes a pain in your heel that you may feel as you take your first steps each morning. With more movement during the course of your day, the pain subsides, but it may return when you stand up from sitting or after a long period of standing.
If you run, are overweight, or wear shoes that offer inadequate support, you stand a higher risk of suffering from plantar fasciitis.
Your plantar fascia tissue is shaped like a bowstring and supports the arch of your foot to provide shock absorption when you walk. However, excessive stresses on this band of tissue can cause small tears in it. Continued tension and tearing could result in inflammation or irritation, though the causes of most cases of plantar fasciitis remain unclear.
A 2019 study suggests that some cases of this condition may involve degeneration of the tissue rather than inflammation.
Although you may develop plantar fasciitis without any obvious cause, some factors could make you susceptible to this condition, include:
The major symptom of plantar fasciitis is pain on the bottom of your heel or the arch of your foot. This pain is normally worse in the morning after you get up or when you take the first few steps after a period of being seated. Although the pain will normally subside after you spend some time walking, too much time on your feet could cause the pain to return. If untreated, the condition can become worse with time.
Clinical diagnosis of plantar fasciitis symptoms is based on physical examination and your medical history. Your doctor will locate the areas of tenderness and determine whether plantar fasciitis is the reason for your discomfort or if the pain is due to another issue, such as a stress fracture.
Home remedies like icing and rest, the use of braces, and over-the-counter arch supports and anti-inflammatory medication are the first-line treatments for plantar fasciitis. In a few extreme cases, a corticosteroid may have to be injected by your doctor directly into the damaged ligament to ease the pain.
Maintaining good flexibility throughout the inter-connective chain of the lower leg, including the ankle, Achilles tendon, and calf muscles are the best way to prevent plantar fasciitis. Still, it’s also part of a solid plantar fasciitis treatment plan.
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