Plantar Fasciitis


Plantar fasciitis is the most commonly occurring heel pain seen in runners, obese people and pregnant women. The thick band of tissues in the bottom of your feet get inflamed, causing pain. The heel pain is usually felt on the inside of the heel. The pain is also felt along the arch of the feet and along the border of the heel. You feel a stabbing pain, especially, in the morning as the plantar fascia tightens up. The pain reduces as the tissues stretch, but it may worsen if you stand, walk or run. This condition is seen in athletes, dancers and jumpers.

The mechanical structure of your feet and the manner in which the different segments of your feet are linked together and joined with your legs has a major impact on their function and on the development of mechanically caused problems. Merely having "flat feet" won't take the spring out of your step, but having badly functioning feet with poor bone alignment will adversely affect the muscles, ligaments, and tendons and can create a variety of aches and pains. Excess pronation can cause the arch of your foot to stretch excessively with each step. This "hypermobility" may cause other bones to shift and cause other mechanically induced problems.

The treatment of plantar fasciitis may include non-steroidal anti inflammatory such as Ibuprophen, or Naproxen, rest, ice and heat modalities, or orthotic devices for shoes to provide arch support. Your doctor may inject your foot with corticosteroids or prescribe a corticosteroid cream which may provide relief. If you're overweight diet to normalize your weight may be suggested. Exercises to stretch the plantar fascia and strengthen the lower leg muscles may be suggested. Night splints which hold your foot at a 90 degree angle may be suggested to keep the plantar facia lengthened at night allow for greater stretching and decrease morning pain.

Tight calf muscles is a major contributing factor to Plantar Fasciitis. Therefore this particular heel pain exercise is very important. Stand facing a wall with your hands on the wall at about eye level. Put one leg about a step behind your other leg, keeping your back heel flat on the floor. Make sure this leg stays straight at all times. Now bend the knee of the front leg slowly, lowering your body until you feel a stretch in the calf of the back leg. Hold the stretch for 15 to 20 seconds. Repeat 4 times. Do the same for the other leg.

Stretch your hamstrings-the muscles on the backs of your thighs-before and after impact activities. According to Sports Injury Bulletin, tight hamstrings lead to overflexion at the knee and cause the foot to flex more in response, increasing impact on the ball of the foot. Stretch your Achilles tendon by standing with your toes on a raised surface and dropping your heel below your toes. Do this with your feet facing forward, inward and outward to stretch in all planes. Stretch your plantar fascia by putting your weight on one leg. Shift your weight to the outside, center and inside of the foot on that leg. Strengthening Exercises.plantar fasciitis

Some people with normal arches or high arches get heel pain and plantar fasciitis as well. This is usually caused by muscle imbalances in the foot or lower leg. Some people have normal arches while standing but when they stand their arches fall. Either way, the first solution is to get custom orthotic inserts made for your shoes. This doesn't mean the cheap ones you get at a pharmacy. You need to find someone who makes custom orthotic inserts that can be made specific for your feet. These can cost from $75 to $300. This is expensive but can be very effective.

Heelpain is commonly felt on the bottom of the foot, where the plantarfascia attaches to the heel bone. Due to the fact that the fasciaconstricts when you sleep, you will typically feel the most pain in themornings. When you get up, the sudden stretch and load of your bodyweight pulls on the attachment to the heel bone. Mild to severesymptoms of foot pain in athletes may occur. The pattern of pain can bevery unpredictable over months at a time. Frequently, the paindisappears for several weeks, only to re-emerge full-blown after asingle workout or change in activity.

The plantar fascia is actually a thick, fibrous band of connective tissue which originates at the heel bone and runs along the bottom of the foot in a fan-like manner, attaching to the base of each of the toes. A rather tough, resilient structure, the plantar fascia takes on a number of critical functions during running and walking. It stabilizes the metatarsal joints (the joints associated with the long bones of the foot) during impact with the ground, acts as a shock absorber for the entire leg, and helps to lift the longi-tudinal arch of the foot to prepare it for the 'take-off' phase of the gait cycle.

Physical therapy is used commonly to help rehabilitate patients with this condition to not only speed up recovery but also teach the patient how to properly exercise the plantar fascia if future events of this condition arise. Extracorporeal shock wave therapy, or ESWT, has emerged as a treatment option available for patients with plantar fasciitis ESWT delivers a focused shock waves to the heel. The healing response caused by the trauma causes the formation of blood vessels and an increase delivery of nutrients to the area thus stimulating a repair process to relieve the symptoms of plantar fasciitis.

How quickly you can return to running will depend on the severity of your injury and how fast you heal. Some runners find that they can work their way back into running even while some residual arch stiffness persists, but if running is making your arch pain worse, you need more time off and more time for your rehab program to do its job. As you return to running, consider increasing your stride frequency by 10% or so to reduce your impact loading rate,16 a factor connected with the development of plantar fasciitis in runners. plantar fasciitis sock

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