Tue

11

Mar

2014

Plantar Fasciitis


The main symptom of plantar fasciitis is the feeling of acute pain in the inner side of the heel. If an intense pain is felt in the heel on taking the first few steps in the morning, then it is most likely a case of plantar fasciitis The pain eases as the day progresses because the plantar fascia gradually stretches due to warming up of the feet. Sometimes, the pain may start as a dull pain in the heel and the arch and may later accentuate to a sharp, persisting pain. Patients suffering from plantar fasciitis may also find climbing stairs or walking on the toes very painful.

Plantar fasciitis occurs often in runners and other athletes. Plantar fasciitis is the most frequent cause of plantar (bottom of the foot) heel pain. For many years pain in this region has been incorrectly termed the "heel spur syndrome". It is better termed the "plantar heel pain syndrome" since a heel spur is not always found at this location. While a "heel spur" sounds ominous often the spur is present and does not cause any pain. The formation of a spur is a sign that too much tension has developed within the plantar fascia, partially tearing from its origin at the calcaneus (heel bone).

The repetitive stress of certain conditions or activities commonly leads to plantar fasciitis. Repetitive pressure on the feet from jobs or activities that require prolonged walking or standing on hard on irregular surfaces - or running and exercise - can also lead to wear and tear on the plantar fascia. Aggravating factors, such as being overweight or having poorly cushioned shoes can also add to the cause of plantar fasciitis. The natural aging process (whoopee for me) may also cause tissue in the heels to weaken over time and/or promote wear and tear.

As we stand and apply our weight to the foot, the arch drops and the plantar fascia becomes tightened. Plantar fasciitis occurs when the weight that is applied to the foot is so great that the tension in the plantar fascia increase, causing damage as it begins to pull away from the heel bone. This is a very important concept to understand and is probably why plantar fasciitis is such a misunderstood medical condition. The painful symptoms of PF do not result from standing on the heel, but rather result from overwhelming tension or repetitive stress that is exerted on the plantar fascia as we stand or exercise.

People with plantar fasciitis experience pain when they take their first step after sitting down for too long or when they get out of bed. After few steps the pain and stiffness might reduce a bit. People with this condition may feel the pain more when they climb stairs or after standing for too long. This pain can increase as the days go by, but plantar fasciitis exercises if done regularly can significantly reduce pain and swelling in the tissue. Many people find it easier to pop pain killers, but such treatments can have other side effects.plantar fasciitis brace

Foot Orthotics , is the only non-surgical therapy to have been supported by studies rated by the Center for Evidence-Based Medicine as being of high quality. Landorf et al. performed a single-blind experiment in which patients were randomly assigned to receive off-the-shelf orthotics, personally customized orthotics, or sham orthotics made of soft, thin foam. Patients receiving real orthotics showed statistically significant short-term improvements in functionality compared to those receiving the sham treatment. There was no statistically significant reduction in pain, and there was no long-term effect when the patients were re-evaluated after 12 months.

Plantar fasciitis pain can last six to 18 months or longer, so it is important to be patient. Your podiatrist will evaluate your feet to determine if you need to have special supports, called orthotics, inserted into your regular shoes or your running shoes. You may be asked to stop carrying heavy weights or participating in sports until your foot heals. Your podiatrist may refer you to a physical therapist to start a series of exercises to strengthen and stretch your foot and calf muscles, including wall stretches and stair stretches. Medical Interventions.

Plantar fasciitis is a common cause of heel pain in adults. The pain is usually caused by collagen degeneration (which is sometimes misnamed “chronic inflammation”) at the origin of the plantar fascia at the medial tubercle of the calcaneus. This degeneration is similar to the chronic necrosis of tendonosis, which features loss of collagen continuity, increases in ground substance (matrix of connective tissue) and vascularity, and the presence of fibro-blasts rather than the inflammatory cells usually seen with the acute inflammation of tendonitis. 1 The cause of the degeneration is repetitive microtears of the plantar fascia that overcome the body's ability to repair itself.

Regular gentle stretching is the key. Patients should be sure to start their stretching very slowly and carefully at the start of your treatment because going too far at first during the first points of treatment and recovery can easily re-injure the plantar fascia and aggravate the condition. Slow and steady is the best approach to stretching and best results are brought about by a 'little and frequent' approach. Patients should stretch at least two times daily (preferably more) instead of diving into one long, over enthusiastic stretching session on once in a while basis.

This kind of plantar fasciitis stretches is done in order to stretch the hind leg as well as the ankles. You need a flat surface and an elevated area such as the curb, a stair step or a low chair. You might also need to hold or lean on to something so that you will not lose your balance. This is a very easy stretching exercise to do. Stand by the edge of the elevated item that you have chosen and stand on your toes. Keep the toes on that edge and allow the heel to drop lower than the toes. plantar fasciitis sock

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