Plantar Fasciitis

What is plantar fasciitis
Plantar fasciitis ranks among the primary culprits for heel pain on the underside. This condition arises when the plantar fascia, a robust band of tissue that provides support to the foot’s arch, undergoes irritation and inflammation.

Situated directly beneath the skin on the sole of your foot, the plantar fascia is a lengthy and slender ligament. This ligament links the heel to the front part of your foot, providing essential support to the foot’s arch.

Plantar Fasciitis treatment at attuned vitality

Causes of Plantar Fasciitis
Swelling occurs when the thick band of tissue on the underside of the foot (known as the fascia) becomes overstretched or experiences excessive use. This can lead to pain and difficulty while walking.
The likelihood of developing plantar fasciitis is higher if you:

  • Have issues with your foot arch (both flat feet and high arches)
  • Engage in long-distance running, particularly downhill or on uneven surfaces
  • Experience obesity or rapid weight gain
  • Possess a tight Achilles tendon (the tendon connecting the calf muscles to the heel)
  • Wear shoes lacking proper arch support or with soft soles
  • Change your level of physical activity
  • Plantar fasciitis is observed in both men and women and stands as one of the most common orthopedic foot complaints.

Previously, plantar fasciitis was often attributed to the presence of a heel spur. However, recent research has shown that this is not consistently the case. On X-rays, heel spurs can be found in individuals with and without plantar fasciitis, indicating that the two are not always directly related.

attuned vitality foot arch

How to heal plantar fasciitis
Plantar fasciitis is a common condition characterized by pain and inflammation in the plantar fascia, a band of tissue that runs along the bottom of the foot. While it can be persistent, there are several approaches you can consider to help manage and alleviate the pain associated with plantar fasciitis:

  • Rest and Avoid Overuse: Give your feet adequate rest and avoid activities that put excessive strain on the plantar fascia, such as prolonged standing or high-impact activities.
  • Ice: Applying ice to the affected area for 15-20 minutes several times a day can help reduce inflammation and pain.
  • Stretching Exercises: Gentle stretching exercises for the calf muscles and Achilles tendon can help relieve tension on the plantar fascia. Regular stretching can also improve flexibility.
  • Footwear: Choose supportive and well-cushioned shoes that provide proper arch support. Avoid flat shoes or those with inadequate support.
  • Orthotics: Custom or over-the-counter orthotic inserts can provide additional arch support and cushioning, reducing strain on the plantar fascia.
  • Night Splints: Wearing night splints can help stretch the plantar fascia and Achilles tendon while you sleep, preventing morning pain.
  • Massage: Self-massage or professional foot massages can help reduce muscle tension and improve blood flow to the affected area.
  • Physical Therapy: A physical therapist can guide you through exercises to strengthen and stretch the foot and ankle muscles, which can help alleviate plantar fasciitis symptoms.
  • Anti-Inflammatory Medications: Over-the-counter nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) can provide temporary relief from pain and inflammation. Consult your doctor before using them.
  • Corticosteroid Injections: In some cases, a doctor might recommend corticosteroid injections to reduce inflammation and pain.
  • Taping: Taping the foot using techniques like low-Dye taping can provide support and reduce strain on the plantar fascia.
  • Lose Excess Weight: Maintaining a healthy weight can help reduce the load on your feet and lessen strain on the plantar fascia.
  • Avoid Barefoot Walking: Avoid walking barefoot on hard surfaces, and consider wearing supportive footwear even at home.
  • Gentle Exercises: Engage in low-impact exercises like swimming or cycling to stay active without putting excessive pressure on your feet.
  • Gradual Return to Activity: Once your symptoms improve, gradually reintroduce activities and exercises to prevent re-aggravation.

It’s important to note that the effectiveness of these strategies can vary from person to person. If you’re experiencing persistent or severe pain, consulting a healthcare professional, such as a podiatrist or orthopedic specialist, is recommended for a proper diagnosis and personalized treatment plan. In some cases, more advanced treatments like physical therapy, shockwave therapy, or surgery might be considered.

Other Treatments may include:
Extracorporeal shockwave therapy (ESWT) is a procedure in which high-energy shockwave impulses are applied to stimulate the healing process in damaged plantar fascia tissue. However, it’s important to note that ESWT has not consistently shown reliable results and is not widely practiced as a treatment option.

Feel free to reach out and schedule an appointment today to explore the possibility of receiving shockwave therapy treatment. Our team here at Attuned Vitality and Chiropractic and Wellness will be happy to provide you with more information and help you determine the most suitable approach for your needs.

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