A Guide To Plantar Fasciitis: Everything About It And The Importance Of Chiropractic Care And Stretches For Plantar Fasciitis
What is plantar fasciitis?
The plantar fascia is generally a thick, weblike ligament that usually connects the front of your foot to your heel. It supports your foot’s arch and acts as a shock absorber, assisting you to walk. Plantar fasciitis brings about pain at the bottom of your heel.
One of the most usual orthopedic complaints is plantar fasciitis. In your daily life, your plantar fascia ligaments undergo much wear and tear. And when your feet receive too much pressure, it can tear or damage the ligaments. Inflammation of the plantar fascia then occurs, which causes heel stiffness and pain.
What are the symptoms of plantar fasciitis?
For those with plantar fasciitis, the major symptom is pain at the bottom of the heel and/or at times at the bottom mid-foot area. Mostly, it affects only one foot, but it can also affect both feet. Usually, pain from plantar fasciitis extends slowly over time, and the pain can either be sharp or dull. To some, they feel an ache or a burning sensation at the bottom of the heat spreading out from the heel.
Mostly, the pain is worse in the morning after you make a few steps out of bed, or maybe if you’ve been lying down or sitting for a while. Due to heel stiffness, climbing stairs can be tedious and hard. After prolonged activity, there could be flaring up of pain because of inflammation or increased irritation. During that activity, people suffering from plantar fasciitis don’t usually feel pain, but instead just after stopping.
What are the causes of plantar fasciitis?
According to research, active women and men between 40-70 years are at the highest risk of acquiring plantar fasciitis. What’s more, plantar fasciitis is slightly more usual in women as compared to men. Pregnant women usually encounter bouts of plantar fasciitis, especially during late pregnancy. If you’re obese or overweight, you’re also at a higher risk of acquiring plantar fasciitis. This is because your plantar fascia ligaments have increased pressure, particularly if you get sudden weight gain.
For those who are long-distance runners, you’re also prone to develop plantar fascia complications. You’re also at high risk in case you have a very active job that demands to be on your feet often, like being a restaurant server or working in a factory. For those who have structural foot complications, such as very flat feet or very high arches, there’s a high chance you might develop plantar fasciitis.
Also, the tight Achilles tendons that attach your calf muscles to your heels might bring about plantar fascia pain. By simply wearing shoes with poor arch support and soft holes, it can lead to plantar fasciitis. Typically, plantar fasciitis isn’t the result of heel spurs. Although doctors used to think that people with plantar fasciitis got pain from heel spurs, that isn’t the case.
Testing and diagnosis of plantar fasciitis
By performing a physical exam, the doctor will inspect for tenderness in your foot and the specific location for the pain. By doing this, s/he will ensure that the pain isn’t the result of another foot issue. During the evaluation, they might ask you to flex your foot as they push on your plantar fascia to check if the pain becomes better when you point your toe and worse when you flex. Furthermore, they’ll note if you’re experiencing any swelling or mild redness.
Typically, your doctor will evaluate the health of your nerves and the strength of your muscles by looking at your:
– Sense of sight and touch
– Muscle tone
An MRI or an X-ray might be necessary to confirm no more causes for your heel pain, like a bone fracture.
What is the treatment for plantar fasciitis?
Mostly, the first ways of treating plantar fasciitis are home treatments such as icing, rest, using anti-inflammatory drugs, and braces. If those fail to relieve the pain, a helpful technique would be to inject a corticosteroid directly into the specific damaged section of the ligament. Your doctor can efficiently perform this in their office.
The doctor might use an ultrasound device to assist in determining the most appropriate place for the injection. Alternatively, they can apply corticosteroids to the arch of your foot or the skin of your heel, and then use a painless electrical current to allow the steroid to penetrate your skin into the muscle.
For plantar fasciitis treatment, physical therapy is an integral part. Generally, it can help stretch your Achilles tendons and plantar fascia. You can consult a physical therapist for exercises of strengthening your lower leg muscles, assisting to stabilize your walk, and reduce the burden on your plantar fascia.
In case the pain persists, and other techniques aren’t working, your doctor might suggest extracorporeal shock wave therapy. Sound waves are used in this therapy to bombard your heel and enhance healing within the ligament. There is no proof that this kind of treatment is consistently effective when it comes to relieving symptoms. So, if your plantar fasciitis stills persist after home and medical treatments, surgery is the next considerable option.
Plantar fasciitis surgery
It’s the most dramatic therapy, and is only performed in instances when pain extreme or exceeds more than 6 to 12 months. During a plantar fascia release, the plantar fascia is partially detached from the heel bone by your surgeon. It minimizes tension but weakens the foot’s arch, and full function might be lost.
In case you’ve had a difficult time flexing your feet even after regular stretching, the doctor might suggest a gastrocnemius recession. Typically, this surgery entails lengthening the calf muscle to stimulate ankle motion and relieve stress on the plantar fascia. Since surgery can lead to nerve damage and chronic pain, it should be the last option.
Exercises for plantar fasciitis
Gentle stretches for plantar fasciitis can help in relieving and even preventing the problem. Stretching the plantar fascia itself and your calves help in loosening your muscles and, ultimately, reducing heel pain. It’s vital to take a rest after certain exercises, such as running, to allow enough time for the plantar fascia to heal. Low-impact activities, like swimming, will enable you to exercise without deteriorating your heel pain. If you begin running again, ensure to start slowly.
While exercising, stop, and stretch to prevent the pain from returning. Don’t forget to stretch before starting your workouts, as well. It’s easy to perform the stretches for plantar fasciitis. All you’ll need is a few standard props, such as a foam roller and a chair or even only a frozen water bottle.
Home remedies for plantar fasciitis
Although reducing pain and inflammation or irritation in the plantar fascia ligament is a crucial part of the treatment, it doesn’t deal with the underlying ligament damage. Keenly following home treatment recommendations is usually sufficient to heal plantar fasciitis without your doctor’s assistance.
It involves staying off your feet, and then you apply ice (3-4 times per day) for 15-20 minutes to reduce swelling. Alternatively, you can try changing or reducing your exercise activities. Doing stretching exercises, replacing worn-out athletic footwear, and using arch supports in your shoes might also help in alleviating pain. Plantar fasciitis exercises can also include a calf stretch, where you will hold the stretch for a few minutes, along with foot exercises. These foot exercises can be as simple as using the toes for marble pickups to rolling the affected foot over a rolling pin. There are also specific drugs helpful in soothing pain in the ligament that you could use.
Another very easy plantar fasciitis stretching technique is a towel stretch. This is accomplished with your knee straight and looping a towel around the bottom of your foot, pulling the towel causing a toe stretch.
These various home treatment options are designed to relieve pain. These generally have the highest success when done prior to getting out of bed in the morning.
Braces and supports
Another treatment that can help in stretching the arch of your foot and your calf is the night splints. Night splints are generally a brace type that holds your foot in a particular flexed position and lengthens the Achilles tendon and the plantar fascia overnight. As a result, it can prevent morning stiffness and pain.
Orthotics which support the arch of the foot , also referred to as arch supports, or special orthotics, for your shoes might assist in relieving some of the pain by distributing pressure, and they can also stop further damage to the plantar fascia. Alternatively, a boot cast might immobilize your foot and minimize strain as the plantar fascia heals.
Plantar fasciitis prevention
You can avoid plantar fasciitis by making some lifestyle changes to avoid sports injuries. Wear supportive shoes that have good arch support, and ensure to replace your athletic footwear often. For runners, approximately 400-500 miles is the recommended limit for every pair of shoes before you can buy new ones. Include low-impact exercises into your routine, such as bicycling or swimming. Avoid very frequent running since it might overwork your plantar fascia. Before exercising, ensure to stretch your plantar fascia, Achilles tendon, and your calves. Do your best to remain at a healthy weight. That means losing weight if you’re overweight to minimize pressure on your plantar fascia.
Recovering from plantar fasciitis
Plantar fasciitis improves within a couple of months of proper home treatments for many people. As aforementioned, some of these home treatments include stretching, icing, and resting. What’s more, you can help your plantar fascia in recovering by stabilizing your foot using tape. By doing this, you’ll be limiting the amount that that ligament can move. In fact, according to certain studies, taping your foot also provides temporary pain relief. Kinesiology tape or zinc oxide tape could be helpful. Although it might need some practice, taping your foot yourself could aid the recovery process.
If you are suffering from plantar fasciitis request an appointment with one of our Charlotte doctors and get on the road to pain free living without foot pain at a Charlotte chiropractic office near you.
Tebby Chiropractic and Sports Medicine Clinic
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