Plantar Fasciitis – Treatment and Prevention

Plantar fasciitis is a common orthopedic condition causing pain under the heel which quite often radiates into the foot. The Plantar Fascia is a thick band of tissue that stretches across the bottom of the feet and connects your heel to the toes. Usually, this band of tissue acts as shock-absorbers and also supports the arch of your foot. These ligaments experience a lot of damage in your day-to-day life. An excessive amount of pressure on the feet can harm or tear these ligaments. The tissue becomes inflamed, and the swelling causes pain and stiffness on the heel. The pain builds up gradually over time. This condition is very common in long runners. Also, people who’re obese, expecting mothers, people whose jobs require a lot of standing, as well as those who regularly wear worn-out footwear are all at high risk of plantar fasciitis.

Treatment
• Rest

Avoid activities that add stress on the feet. This could be hard, particularly if your nature of job involves standing on your feet for many hours a day, but getting your feet adequate rest would be the 1st step in relieving the pain.

• Ice compress

You can apply ice-packs to the heel or use an ice-block to massage the foot before you go to bed every night.

• Anti-inflammatory medications

Non Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like ibuprofen and diclofenac are generally used to treat this condition. It’s not clear whether NSAID aid in recovery process but they’re helpful in reducing pain during treatments. If the condition doesn’t react to primary treatment, a cortico-steroid therapy is likely to be recommended. This usually involves injecting the corticosteroid medicine like hydrocortisone (Solu Cortef) straight into the affected region so as to treat the soreness and thus alleviate the pain.

• Stretching feet and calves

When the pain is alleviated, do foot and calf stretches, leg workouts to make your thighs and leg as flexible and strong as possible. It will help you avoid getting heel pain again. Ask your athletic trainer, coach or a physiotherapist to teach you some leg workouts.

• Night splints

Night splints to stop the plantar fascia tightening up during sleep can also be suggested at this stage.

• Surgery 

Surgical treatment is rarely used in treating plantar fasciitis. However it may be advised when conventional treatment has been tried out for many months but hasn’t provided positive relief of symptoms. The surgery involves removing the plantar fascia tissue from where it attaches to the bone; this is known as plantar fascia release. Surgery may cause problems in a few people so it must be considered as a final option.

Prevention Tips

• Always wear supportive footwear or shoes that fit your foot properly. 
• Stay in good shape. 
• Stretch out your feet and calves before you workout or play a sport. 
• Start any new exercise or activity slowly and then increase the intensity and duration of the activity gradually. 

If you overlook the condition, you possibly can develop long-term heel pain. This could affect the way you walk and result in injury to your legs, knee joints, hips and also back. So, take right action and right time.