Plantar Fasciitis is deemed as one of the most common disorders that cause pain in the heels. This is due to an inflammation involving a thick band of connective tissue that connects the heel bones to the toes. This tissue is also called the plantar fascia. The tissue originates from the medial tubercle of the heel bone. If you are an athlete such as a basketball player, runner, etc. plantar fasciitis can really impact your enjoyment of your sport.
You can distinguish the plantar fasciitis as the stabbing pain that occurs with the first step you take in the morning. This might be a recurring pain that might return after you stand up from a long period of sitting. Also, this can occur after a long period a person is standing. This disorder is said to usually affect the runners. As well as that, it can also affect those people who are obese or those who wear shoes that do not have adequate support. In fact, between 4% to 7% of the population has proven to have heel pain, while 80% of these are because of Plantar Fasciitis.
Although this disorder may be resolve with conservative treatment methods, there is also a risk if it is left untreated. Ignoring this may result in chronic pain in the heel that could hinder your physical activities. In addition to that, this could also change the way a person walks. In a worst-case scenario, this may lead to knee, hip, back, or foot problems. Some of the traditional treatments that are advised to those who have Plantar Fasciitis are stretching, change of activities, rest, and pain medication. Rest is the most common advice in order to reduce the pain caused by the disorder. Meanwhile, rolling a cube of ice on the affected area may relieve the pain if done three to four times a day. There are also non-steroidal and anti-inflammatory medication used like naproxen or ibuprofen to reduce the pain or inflammation.
Also, there are unproven treatments that one must be wary of. Botulinum Toxin or Botox is one of the treatments used in Plantar Fasciitis. It is one of the injection techniques that are somewhat similar to the platelet-rich plasma and prolotherapy injections. Aside from those two, another method called Dry needling is also said to treat Plantar Fasciitis, but it was reported to be inadequate and is too diverse in methodology to reach a firm conclusion.
However, if not sufficient, some are advised to have other options like splinting, physiotherapy, orthotics, and steroid injections. Additionally, other measures such as surgery or a therapy called Extracorporeal Shockwave Therapy is advised. The last resort is the Plantar fasciotomy, a surgical treatment where the fascia is removed to relieve the pressure or to treat an area of tissue or muscle. This procedure is considered if the Plantar Fasciitis is not resolved after six months of conservative treatment.
Once the therapy has begun, the improvement was usually seen within ten months. Further tests may be ordered by the doctor in order to help make sure that the pain in the heel is caused by Plantar Fasciitis. Also, x-rays can help in providing an image of the bones in the feet. This can be useful in ruling out other causes of pain such as arthritis. Additionally, other imaging tests may be used like magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Nevertheless, these imaging tests are rarely ordered.
Furthermore, Plantar Fasciitis can develop without an obvious cause. However, there are some factors that can increase the risk of developing this disorder. These factors include age, obesity, occupations, and even a certain type of exercise. According to the doctors, Plantar Fasciitis is most common in people within the age bracket forty to sixty years old. Another thing that could be a risk of developing this condition is obesity which can cause extra stress to the plantar fasciitis. Moreover, teachers, factory workers, and other workers who spend most of their time sitting or standing for a long time on a hard surface are also most likely to have this disorder. Nevertheless, a certain type of person’s exercise can also put a lot of stress on your heels and the tissues in your feet.