Plantar fasciitis is the swelling of the fibrous tissue that travels along the base of the foot starting at the heel up to the base of the toes. If the inflammation persists, the lining will eventually get torn over time. The structure that develops once this occurs is wide as the heel bone and called as a heel spur.
How plantar fasciitis develops
The condition can occur in different scenarios but the main cause is extended overuse of the feet that results to miniature tears as well as the degeneration of the plantar fascia tissue. Plantar fasciitis can also develop due to the following:
- Individuals who are flat footed or have walking abnormalities in which the weight is unevenly distributed will make him/her prone to miniature tears and a swollen plantar fascia tissue.
- Calf muscles that are tight can lead to diminished flexibility that can eventually lead to the condition.
Additionally, other factors that can lead to the development of the condition include running on uphill surfaces, excessive foot pronation and wearing shoes at the heel.
Who are at risk for plantar fasciitis?
Individuals who run or jog are prone to the condition but those who have tight calf muscles are included due to the diminished flexibility. Even those who have flat feet are susceptible to the condition. Women are also at higher risk for the condition than men. Lastly, overweight individuals are also at risk.
Symptoms of plantar fasciitis
If suspect that an individual has plantar fasciitis, the following symptoms are likely to manifest:
- Gradual onset of heel pain
- Sensation of a bruise deep within the heel
- Pain upon standing up after a midday break
- Pain is increased in the morning and lessens throughout the day
- Pain is likely to occur after exercising
- If a heel spur is present, there is a bump at the point of pain
Treatment for plantar fasciitis
You can provide first aid care if an individual experiences the symptoms of plantar fasciitis.
- Instruct the individual to rest and keep weight off from the affected foot until the inflammation subsides.
- Apply an ice pack or cold compress for 15-20 minutes every session at 3-4 times in a day.
- Over-the-counter medications such as acetaminophen, aspirin, ibuprofen and naproxen can be given for pain relief and to minimize the inflammation.
Take note that the individual can continue an exercise program as long as the activities do not put pressure on the heel. Good examples of activities include swimming or riding a stationary bicycle.
How to prevent plantar fasciitis
Even if the condition can be treated with first aid measures, you can still avoid the condition. Initially, the individual must wear shoes that properly fit and can provide adequate support to the arches. Once the shoes have been used for 300-500 miles, it is best to replace them with a new pair.