Plantar fasciitis

Updated on 26 April 2023

Plantar fasciitis

Plantar fasciitis is a condition causing pain under the foot, usually experienced after a long period of rest or high-intensity activity. What sets it apart from other forms of discomfort is that plantar fasciitis can lead to long-term heel pain (Heel spur). Fortunately, the symptoms can be identified and treated at your local chiropodist clinic.

Plantar fasciitis, or plantar aponeurosis, is the inflammation of tissue supporting muscles and ligaments at the foot’s arch (the fascia). It manifests as stiffness and pain spreading from heel to toe. Pain can intensify when the heel is raised (often during sporting activities), and those affected may find it difficult to put their feet flat when they get out of bed. These unpleasant sensations often result from an overstressed fascia, a part of the body that must remain flexible enough to support your weight. When untreated, plantar fasciitis can result in a tear or become extremely painful. 

How common is plantar fasciitis?

Plantar fasciitis is a common pathology affecting various segments of the population. To reduce your chances, be sure to stretch and rest your feet regularly.

Potential plantar fasciitis and heel pain causes

There are many causes of plantar fasciitis; chief among them are poor foot support, deformities, and diseases. Inflammatory pathologies such as arthritis can cause heel pain and foot conditions such as flat or hollow feet. Physical activity, too, is a common culprit (i.e., runners with repeated microtrauma). Lastly, wearing shoes that do not adequately support the arch can contribute to fascia inflammation.

Who’s most at risk for plantar fasciitis?

Workers who stand for extended periods are more vulnerable to plantar fasciitis. But they’re not the only ones. Athletes who don’t stretch or warm up adequately can also suffer from it. And for those who are elderly, muscle stiffness can cause inflammation or injury, leading to plantar fasciitis. Regular physical activity, such as walking, keeps tissues flexible and helps you maintain a healthy weight. 

Identifying plantar fasciitis symptoms

Plantar fasciitis symptoms are often similar to other foot conditions where pain at the bottom of the foot intensifies during weight bearing. Pain can also be accompanied by stiffness. It’s also possible to experience pain under the heel. The heel may cause discomfort when touched at rest, and the foot may feel warm.

Diagnosing plantar fasciitis?

During a consultation, the chiropodist performs a complete podiatric assessment, namely checking the patient’s gait and the posture and position of the feet when flat on the ground. These tests help the chiropodist rule out other pathologies, such as Achilles tendinitis or stress fractures. If uncertainties remain, the chiropodist may refer the patient to a medical imaging specialist for an X-ray, ultrasound, or MRI to identify heel pain causes.

Plantar fasciitis treatments

Chiropodists favour manual therapy if the patient’s condition allows it. This gentle plantar fasciitis treatment involves manipulation to soften the tissues and relieve pain at the bottom of the foot. To prolong the treatment’s effects, exercises and stretching are commonly prescribed. The chiropodist may also opt for a therapeutic bandage to ease tension. And if the pain becomes incapacitating, it’s possible to combat symptoms with medication. Plantar orthotics may also be recommended for the patient to maintain regular activities. However, in some cases, a fascia tear requires ShockWave therapy or foot laser treatments to stimulate the reconstruction of damaged tissue. Cortisone injections can also be effective when plantar fasciitis resists other remedies.

How long does plantar fasciitis take to heal?

Healing time for plantar fasciitis can take a few weeks to a few months, provided the treatment plan is followed. Additionally, it’s crucial to respect the rest periods recommended by the chiropodist.

Treatment contradictions

Laser and ShockWave therapies require a good knowledge of the patient’s medical history. While non-invasive, these therapies can be dangerous to immunocompromised patients. Communicating with your chiropodist is the surest way to avoid problems.

Prevention: plantar fasciitis exercises and stretches

Maintaining a healthy weight and regular exercise are the best ways to avoid plantar fascia. Plantar fasciitis exercises involve light or moderate physical activity (with appropriate shoes) that helps the fascia retain its flexibility. It’s also vital to begin your workout by warming up the body and feet—and don’t forget to end your session with a stretch. Lastly, with high-intensity workouts, rest is crucial. Besides exercise, stretches and foot massages are common ways to prevent plantar fasciitis. These activities help release tension. And if you’re experiencing pain despite all this, listen to your body and slow down.

Consult a chiropodist to learn more about plantar fasciitis

Consult a chiropodist at the first signs of foot discomfort or pain. Your healthcare professional can prescribe helpful stretches, exercises, or warm-up routines to keep the feet healthy and happy. These recommendations benefit athletes, those suffering from a chronic condition, or individuals with a sedentary lifestyle.

What is plantar fasciitis?

Plantar fasciitis is an inflammation of the plantar fascia – a fibrous ligament that supports the foot’s arch. This disease generally causes excruciating foot discomfort. It is, after all, one of the most prevalent causes of foot pain.

What is the cause of plantar fasciitis?

Plantar fasciitis can be caused by overtraining, ill-fitting shoes, being overweight, or having flat or cavus feet.

What exactly is the distinction between plantar fasciitis and a heel spur?

Plantar fasciitis is an inflammation of the plantar fascia, which is a fibrous ligament that supports the foot’s arch. Calcaneal heel spur, on the other hand, is a bony protrusion on the plantar fascia. Although they are distinct, these two diseases are linked because a heel spur is frequently the result of untreated plantar fasciitis. 

How can I take care of my plantar fasciitis at home? 

Plantar fasciitis should always be treated by a podiatrist. Its pain, however, may be relieved at home by applying ice, resting from walking or standing, and extending your foot and calf. These can be recommended by your podiatrist.

How can plantar fasciitis be treated without surgery?

In less severe situations, your podiatrist may use manual therapy or therapeutic taping to treat your plantar fasciitis. Laser treatment, ShockWave, prescribed foot orthotics, or cortisone injections can be used to treat more severe instances of plantar fasciitis. Plantar fasciitis seldom needs surgery.

What is the estimated recovery time following plantar fasciitis treatment?

When therapies for plantar fasciitis are effective, you should notice an improvement in your symptoms within 2-4 weeks. However, you should wait 2 to 3 months for complete recovery.

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