Have you ever experienced a stabbing pain on the inside or under your heels, especially with your very first steps in the morning? Plantar fasciitis causes the heel pain due to the inflammation of a flat band of tissue, known as planter fascia. The tissue runs across the bottom part of your feet and connects your heels to your toes. The pain may decrease once your foot limbers up. However, it can return after standing for an extended period or after getting up from your seating position.
Plantar Fasciitis Causes
Plantar fascia acts like a shock-absorbing bowstring, offering support to the arch of your feet. Plantar fasciitis results from tension on plantar fascia that leads to small tears. Repetitive stretching and tearing affect the fascia and it becomes weak, irritated and inflamed. Here are the risk factors that may lead to or worsen Plantar fasciitis.
1. Certain Types of Exercises
All the activities that result in a lot of stress on the heel and attached tissue may cause Plantar fasciitis. Examples of these activities include long-distance running, dance aerobics and ballet dancing.
2. Wearing Shoes with Inadequate Support
If your shoes don’t fit you well, or if they are worn out, the shoes can strain your plantar fascia. Over time your heel will start to hurt. Wearing slippers or going barefoot after getting out of bed can also worsen Plantar fasciitis. Read about the best different types of shoes that are good for plantar fasciitis at The Joggers Heel.
3. Occupations that Keeps Individuals on Their Feet
If you are a soldier, teacher, factory worker, or you spend most of your work hours standing or walking on hard surfaces, you are likely to damage your plantar fascia. This can happen in either one of your foot or both feet.
4. Faulty Foot Mechanics
High arches, flat foot, tight Achilles tendon or calf muscles can affect your body weight distribution while standing or walking, which may lead to added stress on the plantar fascia. Abnormal walking pattern, where your feet roll inward too much, is also another factor that can be classified in this category.
Obese people and pregnant women are at risk. The extra body weight triggers Plantar Fascittis as it overloads planter fascia.
Plantar Fasciitis Treatments
- Avoid worn out shoes. Put on shoes with good shock absorbing and a perfect arch support for your foot. Shoes that feature well-cushioned sole are better. You can also consider athletic shoes. Put on these shoes as soon as you get out of your bed.
- Rest your feet. You can either limit or stop the daily activities that may be causing heel pain. Avoid walking or running on hard surfaces.
- Put ice on the painful heels so as to reduce inflammation. You can also use non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as naproxen (Example, Aleve) or ibuprofen (Example, Motrin or Advil).
- Do simple exercises, including calf stretches, toe stretches, and towel stretches. These activities help your ligaments to strengthen and become more flexible.
- Look for shoe inserts or heel cups that help cushion your heel. Ensure that you use them on both of your shoes, even if Plantar fasciitis has affected only one foot.
- Wear night splints as they gently stretch your plantar fascia and Achilles tendon, keeping them from getting tight.
If the above-listed treatment options don’t work, doctors recommend the following options;
- Steroid Shots: A type of steroid medication injected into the tender area to provide temporary pain relief.
- Extra-corporeal Shock Wave Therapy: In this method, sound waves are used to stimulate healing. Side effects include numbness, swelling, bruises, pain, and numbness.
- Surgery: This should be the last treatment option. Your fascia is detached from the heel bone.