Tackling Plantar Fasciitis
“Plantar fascia may occur in one or both feet and is commonly seen in middle aged people”
An extremely common pain experienced by many is foot pain and this pain may originate from the muscles, bones or ligaments. Plantar fasciitis is defined as the inflammation of the plantar fascia which is a tight band of tissue connecting the heel bone to the toes. Also, the arch of the foot is supported by the fascia.
In case of injury, the fascia is inflamed and severe pain is experienced in the heel. This pain worsens if you stand or walk immediately after getting up from bed. Plantar fascia may occur in one or both feet and is commonly seen in middle aged people.
Causes Of Plantar Fasciitis
- Repetitive strain on the ligament supporting the arch
- Achilles tendon
- Inward rolling of feet
- Tight calf muscles
- Presence of a high arch or absence of arch (flat feet)
- Long hours of standing and walking on hard surfaces
- Occupational hazards might also lead to plantar fascia
- Overweight or obesity
- III-fitting shoes
- Pain is the foremost feature of plantar fascia and for most, it occurs after getting out of the bed and taking a few steps. For others, the pain might progressively increases as the day progresses.
- Sharp pain in the foot or heel
- Heel pain increases after standing for long periods
- Pain while climbing stairs
- Swelling (in few cases)
- A pins and needles sensation
- The primary aim is to reduce pain and improve muscle strength
- Rest is mandatory for good recovery
- Pain reduction is a main concern in plantar fasciitis and it is achieved by using conservative treatment options like using electrotherapeutic modality
- Ultrasound is found to be beneficial in this condition
- Hot water fomentation or cold compressors lice pack can be used to relax the muscles, reduce pain and swelling. The feet can also be soaked in lukewarm water or ice water for enhanced relief
- Walking regularly helps in controlling the symptoms
- Strengthening exercises should be done regularly to strengthen the muscles and improve the range as well
- Stretching is important to relax the tight band of muscles and to provide pain relief as well
Exercises To Strengthen Foot Muscles
Sit on a chair with both your feet flat on the floor and place a towel in front of you. With your toes, curl the towel towards you. Repeat for ten repetitions and relax.
Sit on a chair with both your feet f lat on the floor and place a few marbles in front of you. Now, with the help of your toes, pick up the marbles and place in the bowl/cup. Repeat the same.
Calf Stretch In Bed
As the calf muscles tend to tighten, regular stretching helps in loosing up theses muscles. Take a towel or belt and loop it around your foot. Keep your leg straight and gently pull towards your body until you feel a stretch in your leg. Hold the stretch for 10 seconds and repeat up to five times before taking your first step out of bed.
Plantar Fascia Stretch
Pull your toes up with your hand until you feel a stretch along your loot. Hold this position for 10 seconds and repeat it a few times.
Massaging the toot with a tennis ball or a chilled water bottle can be helpful in reducing the pain to a certain extent and also helps in reducing inflammation. Place a tennis ball on the ground and place your toot on it. Now, roll the ball or bottle a few times.
Prevention And Precautions
- Relax and rest your feet whenever you can
- Avoid standing or sitting for long hours
- Avoid walking on uneven roads, hills
- Use proper and comfortable footwear
- Insoles or customized shoes can also be used
- Avoid high heels
- Exercise and stretch foot muscles regularly
- Lead a healthy lifestyle by reducing your weight and stay fit