What is Plantar Fasciitis?
Plantar fasciitis describes the condition of feeling mild to severe pain right at the bottom of the heel. The ligament that connects the front of the foot to the bottom of the heel is known as the plantar fascia, which supports activities such as walking.
The plantar fascia is the foot’s natural shock absorber; if too much stress is placed on the ligament, it can slowly tear or damage, leading to inflammation, stiffness, and pain in the hell.
Plantar Fasciitis Symptoms
The major symptom of plantar fasciitis is numbing pain underneath the heel, around the middle of the foot. The pain can begin as a weak numb sensation and grow gradually over time, until it feels like a burning and stabbing sensation every time a patient walks. As this pain is related to the ligament becoming torn and stiff, it generally triggers the worst pain during the morning or after periods of rest.
Plantar Fasciitis Causes
There are several ways one can develop plantar fasciitis. These include:
– Being overweight or obese, as this increases the stress on the plantar fascia
– Late pregnancy, due to the sudden increase in weight
– Long-distance running
– Any job that demands constant walking, such as restaurant waiters
– Flat fleet or high arches
– Badly fitting shoes
Plantar fasciitis is also more common amongst women.
How is Plantar Fasciitis treated?
For acute plantar fasciitis, home remedies such as rest and ice treatment can help reduce the inflammation. Physical therapy is effective in treating plantar fasciitis, as it can introduce a patient to stretches and exercises that work on the Achilles tendon and plantar fascia ligaments. Physical therapy also assists a patient in stabilizing their gait.