Plantar fasciitis is a very commonly occurring painful condition in the heels, similar to soreness experienced in Achilles tendinitis. Also Read: Achilles Tendinitis - Causes, Symptoms and Diagnosis
The plantar fascia is a ligament – a dense band of tissue that extends along the bottom of the foot and connecting the heel bones to the toes. Inflammation in this region gives rise to a sharp aching sensation while walking, jogging or running – actions involving applying pressure to the heels, ultimately leading to plantar fasciitis.
This condition of agony in the ligaments usually affects only one foot at a time, but in certain cases, can develop in both feet simultaneously.
The primary reason behind plantar fasciitis is the overuse of the foot as well as the heel while standing or walking for prolonged periods of time. Since this complaint was often observed among public security officers patrolling the streets in bare feet several decades ago, this tissue swelling is also termed as “policeman’s heel” or “policeman’s foot syndrome”.
The plantar fascia ligament that covers the bottom portion of the feet bears a curved shape like that of a bowstring. Its main role in the structural framework of the body is to act as a shock absorbent, assimilating the tension on the foot during movement.
If massive amounts of stress are applied on the foot, it instigates wear and tear of tissue, with minor injuries to the plantar fascia. Although the exact cause of plantar fasciitis is not yet determined, it has been concluded through in-depth medical and scientific analysis that repetitive stress irritates and inflames the plantar fascia, resulting in persistent pain in the foot and heel.
Plantar fasciitis is most common between the ages of 40 and 60.
Certain Types Of Exercise:
Activities that place a lot of stress on your heel and attached tissue — such as long-distance running, ballet dancing and aerobic dance — can contribute to the onset of plantar fasciitis.
Excess pounds put extra stress on your plantar fascia.
Plantar fasciitis typically causes a stabbing pain at the bottom of your foot near the heel. The pain is usually the worst with the first few steps after awakening, although it can also be triggered by long periods of standing or when you get up after sitting. The pain is usually worse after exercise, not during it.
Plantar fasciitis is diagnosed based on your medical history and physical examination. During the exam, your doctor will check for areas of tenderness in your foot. The location of your pain can help determine its cause.
Usually, no tests are necessary. Your doctor might suggest an X-ray or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) make sure another problem, such as a stress fracture, is not causing you pain. Also Read: Fractures In Children: Causes, Symptoms And Treatment
Treatment for plantar fasciitis usually involves prescription medications such as pain relievers to alleviate symptoms of aching and discomfort in the feet and heels.
The doctor also may recommend physical therapy sessions to regain flexibility of motion in the joints in the feet, in addition to night splints and another arch supports to help balance pressure in feet better while walking.
In very severe cases, medicated injections or surgery is necessary to remove the damaged tissue, allow pain in the area to subside and help recover normal movement in the feet and heels.