Treatment For Plantar Fasciitis
Plantar fasciitis is one of the most common foot problems, in fact, studies show that 1 in 10 people will develop plantar fasciitis in their lifetime. Plantar fasciitis can be painful, but there is a treatment for Plantar Fasciitis available. The first step in treatment is making sure you understand the condition. We are going to take an in-depth look at Plantar Fasciitis to help you get a better grasp on this common condition.
Let’s get started!
What Is Plantar Fasciitis?
The condition of Plantar Fasciitis is the inflammation of the Plantar Fascia which is a tendentious tissue that runs parallel to the bottom of the foot starting from the heel, fanning onto the base of toes.
The Plantar fascia helps in keeping the balance between the medial longitudinal, lateral longitudinal, and transverse arch of the foot helps in keeping the shape of the foot. When the condition occurs a stabbing pain near the heel of the foot is commonly felt. This pain is usually stronger in the morning, however, it can flare up throughout the day.
What Are Plantar Fasciitis Causes?
There are several causes of Plantar Fasciitis. Being overweight or being a runner are both common factors that can contribute to the condition. Here are a few other factors that contribute to Plantar Fasciitis:
Flat foot/ High arch
Prolong hours of standing / walking or running on a hard surface
Wearing bad shoes for long hours
Chronic history of hip/knee/back pain
Tight leg muscles
Weak foot muscles
History of ankle/ knee injury
Osteoarthritis of Back/hip/knee
Acquired Hallux valgus/ pronated foot, etc.
Poor sport or work training
Tension and stress on the Plantar Fascia will inevitably lead to a flare-up. The condition often comes and goes, however, it can be treated by a professional.
What Happens if Left Untreated?
Although the Plantar Fascia is meant to support the foot for a lifetime, prolonged or repetitive faulty weight-bearing and pressure can lead to strains that lead to inflammation. If not treated in time the condition can lead to fibrosis or calcification and in some cases even bone spurring is possible.
Seeking treatment right away is the best course of action. Non-invasive treatments are the best approach with greater results when started early. Pain that lasts longer than 3 days should be treated promptly to avoid further complications.
What Are the Treatments?
There are various treatments that can be used separately or adjunct for better results. NSAID’s/Anti-inflammatory over-the-counter drugs help in alleviating pain in the initial few days, however, it is crucial that you get treatment from a professional to manage the condition. Let’s take a look at some options.
Physiotherapist and Chiropractor- They can assess the probable cause, and can devise an appropriate plan for your treatment. Some treatments might include a mixture of stretching, strengthening exercises, gait adjustment, and other functional exercises.
Chiropodist/Podiatrist- These specialists can assess your foot and help you correct any other foot deformity. They can prescribe customized orthotic shoes, or insoles to help you decrease strain on the Plantar Fascia which can help aid in the healing process.
Ultrasound Therapy- This type of therapy is used to reduce tenderness and swelling on the Plantar Fascia and help in healing and remodeling. Using this technique can take time but the benefits are good for most patients.
Shockwave Therapy- This therapy can be used for chronic to sub-acute cases. When the Plantar Fascia has reached fibrosis and started to undergo calcification, shockwave therapy can help in breaking the calcification. Additionally, this therapy helps in remodeling.
Fascial Release- This technique is a manual technique that when applied at the tender spot can help a patient regain flexibility. The fascial release also helps decrease pressure on the area.
Strengthening- There are specific exercises that increase the strength of intrinsic foot muscles. Strengthening exercises can help regain or maintain the arch, along with other specific strengthening exercises for any other weak muscles of your foot or back.
Stretching- It is very important to stretch tight Plantar Fascia muscle and calf muscles along with any other tight muscles. Keeping the muscles limber will help reduce the chances of inflammation.
Gait Retraining- With the help of proper shoes and gait retraining you can heal your Fasciitis. A professional therapist can show you how to walk properly to avoid reinjury.
Proprioceptive Retraining- This type of retraining consists of exercises and balance training required to keep the correct weight-bearing alignment of foot and leg.
Functional Retraining- It is necessary to change and retrain your functional activity like running, taking stairs, getting up from the chair, etc. in order to prevent injury. Functional retraining will help you develop new habits that will keep your risk of an injury down.