The plantar fascia is responsible for creating the arch in our feet, running the entire length of the bottom of the foot from the toes all the way to the heel. The condition known as plantar fasciitis occurs when this tissue becomes inflamed.
What causes plantar fasciitis?
The reason that an individual would develop plantar fasciitis is due to this thick skin becoming used too much or stretched. Since we rely so heavily on our feet, there are many different reasons why this injury can occur.
The development of plantar fasciitis can be due to any number of reasons:
- your shoes: shoes that do not fit properly or do not provide sufficient support for the heels or the arch.
- your activities: long-distance running, especially when the individual is traveling down hills or across uneven surfaces.
- your weight: a sudden gain of weight or being obese, even for a short amount of time
- your feet: if you were born with foot arch problems such as high arches, flat feet or both
How plantar fasciitis can affect you
Since the condition refers to inflammation located on the bottom of your foot, it can understandably cause a great deal of discomfort that can make something even as simple as walking painful. Although women can also develop the condition, it commonly affects men between the ages of 40 and 70. The more active the individual, the more likely they are to have it.
What are the best treatment options?
There are many different ways to treat plantar fasciitis. One of the most effective options is to get plenty of rest, taking the additional stress off of the area. Staying off of your feet means that the area is not being aggravated over and over and allows it the opportunity that it needs to recover.
Another great option that individuals have responded very favorably to are conservative physical therapy treatments. These include practices such as ultrasound, cold laser and stretching. Even if these treatments are utilized, it is imperative that the individual also incorporate rest into their routine.
What if I'm still having problems?
While a vast majority of patients receive relief from the conservative forms of physical therapy, there are always a few who do not respond as favorably as would be hoped. For these individuals, it might be recommended that they try injections to alleviate the pain. The patient would want to thoroughly discuss the drawbacks and success rate with their pain specialist before trying this approach.