What is the Main Cause of Plantar Fasciitis?
Plantar fasciitis is one of the most common sources of heel pain. The source of the pain comes from the inflammation tissue running across the bottom of your foot that connects your heel bone to your toes, but what causes this inflammation?
There are several common causes of plantar factious these include:
- Having high-arched or flat feet
- A sudden increase in activity level puts stress on the tendon
- Running, walking, or standing on hard surfaces for an extended period of time
- Wearing shoes that don’t support your feet
In this article, we will take a look at how to tell if you are experiencing symptoms of plantar fasciitis and how it is diagnosed. Additionally, keep reading to discover some common treatments to help relieve the pain caused by Plantar Fasciitis.
What is Plantar Fasciitis?
In order to understand the causes, symptoms, and treatments for plantar fasciitis it’s important to understand what it is.
According to John’s Hopkins Medicine, plantar fasciitis is the inflammation of the plantar fascia, a tough fibrous band of tissue that runs along the sole of the foot.
The plantar fascia is in the shape of a bowstring and supports your arch as you walk. If you put too much tension on the tissue, small tears will occur resulting in inflammation.
Common Symptoms Linked to Plantar Fasciitis
Your foot is a complicated appendage. While plantar fasciitis is a common source of foot pain, there are a ton of other issues that could be causing the pain. That’s why it’s important to be able to identify the telltale signs of plantar fasciitis.
Some common symptoms associated with plantar fasciitis include:
- Pain on the bottom of the heel
- Swelling in the heel
- Pain that continues for months at a time
- Pain in the arch of the foot
- Tight Achilles tendon
- Pain occurring after exercise (especially running or walking)
- Pain in the foot that is worse in the morning or after sitting for long periods of time
Pain from plantar fasciitis does not usually occur during exercise. Therefore, if you start to feel pain in your heel after a couple of minutes of exercise, it is likely a different issue.
Diagnosing Plantar Fasciitis
If you are feeling pain in your foot, you should go to your healthcare provider for a diagnosis. It’s important to determine the cause of the pain so that you can treat it properly.
In the initial assessment, your healthcare provider will examine your foot. If you feel pain when your provider puts pressure on the plantar fascia or you have tingling or loss of feeling in your foot, then it is likely plantar fasciitis.
You can tell if your provider is assessing for plantar fasciitis if they ask questions like:
- Is your pain worse in the morning?
- Are often working on hard surfaces?
- Did you recently start a new exercise plan?
If the source of the pain isn’t obvious or your plantar fasciitis persists they may order an x-ray, bone scan, MRI, or ultrasound to assess if there is a fracture, tendonitis, or some other cause for your pain.
Common Treatments for Plantar Fasciitis
- A prolonged period of rest
- Stretching your calf muscles
- Icing your foot after exercise and throughout the day
- Purchasing more supportive shoes or orthopedics
- Using a splint at night to relieve tension
- Taking anti-inflammatory drugs like ibuprofen or naproxen
- Using crutches
- Using a walking boot
- Losing weight
If at-home solutions don’t resolve the issue, your healthcare provider may suggest outpatient treatments including:
- Physical therapy for stretching and strengthening exercises
- Cortisone injections
- Extracorporeal shockwave therapy (ESWT) to stimulate the heel
In extreme circumstances, your healthcare provider may recommend surgery. Common surgeries linked to plantar fasciitis include:
- Gastrocnemius recession – lengthening of the calf muscle
- Plantar fascia release – a partial cutting of the plantar fascia to release the tension
Surgery is only considered when the problem persists for 12 months or longer or is perpetually reoccurring.
Preventing Plantar Fasciitis
While the structure some people’s feet are simply prone to the condition, there are some preventative measures that you can take to avoid getting plantar fasciitis.
Most importantly, you should always wear proper fitting and supportive footwear. Walking around barefoot or wearing shoes with little to no arch support can put unnecessary stress on your foot.
If you feel pain in your foot it’s always best to take a break from physical activity and ice the pain is for a few days. Our foot and ankle orthopedic surgeon Marina Del Rey, experts can help you determine which type of specialist would suit your needs the best. Taking care of your body and using the right supportive equipment will help delay or prevent plantar fasciitis.