What is Plantar Fasciitis and How Do I Treat It ?
The Complete Guide to Understanding and Resolving Your Heel Pain
If you experience sharp, throbbing or aching heel pain with your first steps out of bed each morning, or when walking throughout the day, you may be suffering from Plantar Fasciitis. This guide will help you to understand the definition, symptoms and causes of this condition and will explore your treatment options for rapid relief from your pain.
What is Plantar Fasciitis?
The American College of Sports and Medicine (1) estimates that the average adult takes between 5,000 and 10,000 steps per day. The brunt of this activity is borne by the bones, muscles and ligaments of the foot. Healthy feet have strong, wonderfully flexible ligaments which are designed to support standing, walking and running. Plantar Fasciitis (pronounced “plantar fash-ee-eye-tis”) is defined as inflammation of, or damage to, one of the most important ligaments in the foot – the plantar fascia.
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The plantar fascia ligament is located along the sole of your foot. It is made up of fibrous tissue that stretches outward from the heel bone, like a strong piece of elastic, and then branches out across the arch and through the ball area of the foot toward the toes.
In researching information about heel pain, you may also encounter the term “Plantar Fasciosis”. According the Merck Manual (2), this term commonly denotes damage to the plantar fascia with an absence of inflammation.
The term “Plantar Fasciitis” is literally translated as “Foot Inflammation”. It is a progressive condition. If left untreated, the combination of excessive movement of the ligament, small tears, inflammation and possible bone spurs can become debilitating to the sufferer. Fortunately, there are excellent, natural options for resolving the pain of this ailment.
What Are the Symptoms of Plantar Fasciitis?
If you are concerned that you may have developed this syndrome, review this list of symptoms to see if they match with your experience:
- Aching, sharp or burning pain in the sole of your foot, often centering in the heel area.
- Foot pain that occurs as soon as you step out of bed or get to your feet after prolonged periods of sitting.
- Pain that may decrease eventually after you’ve been on your feet for awhile, only to return later in the day.
- Sudden heel pain or pain that builds gradually.
- Foot pain that has lasted for more than a few days, or which you experience periodically over the course of months or years.
- Pain in just one foot, though it is possible to have Plantar Fasciitis affect both feet.
- Swelling, redness, or feelings of heat in the heel area.
Who Is At Risk For Developing Plantar Fasciitis?
Plantar Fasciitis is frequently cited as the number one cause of heel pain. The condition affects both children and adults. Children typically outgrow the problem, but affected adults may experience recurring symptoms over the course of many months or years. The syndrome afflicts both highly active and sedentary individuals.
Typically, Plantar Fasciitis results from a combination of causes, including:
- Pronation; a condition in which the plantar fascia doesn’t transfer weight evenly from the heel to the ball of the foot when you walk.
- Overuse of the feet without adequate periods of rest.
- High arches, flat feet or tightness in the Achilles’ tendon at the back of the heel.
- Working conditions that involve long hours spent standing or lifting heavy objects.
- Worn or ill-fitting footwear.
- The normal aging process, which can result in a loss of soft tissue elasticity.
- Physical trauma to the foot, as in the case of taking a fall or being involved in a car accident.
What Are The Treatment Options For Plantar Fasciitis?
You may experience concern in reading about treatment options for this condition that involve taking medications, having injections or undergoing surgery. While these remedies may be necessary in some cases, there are natural, non-invasive, affordable methods for treating and healing Plantar Fasciitis. A simple, three-step approach may be all you need to experience immediate or rapid symptom relief.
Step 1) Give Your Feet A Rest
When a ligament is stressed and inflamed, it is absolutely essential to take pressure off it and let it rest. Adjust your daily habits to spend some time each day off your feet.
Step 2) Ice Brings Cooling Relief
Apply an ice bag or cold pack to your heel for twenty minutes, twice a day. This will numb soreness and help control inflammation.
Step 3) Gain Support From Orthotics
Orthotics are devices designed to modify body motions or lessen pressure on areas of the body. In the case of foot orthotics, these products may include splints, wraps and shoe inserts.
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HTP Heel Seats add an extra, dense protective layer to the fatty pad of your heel and apply therapeutic acupressure to the heel bone and mid-sole, immediately reducing stress on the bone and ligament. In this cushioned environment, the heel can begin to recover, naturally. The intelligent design of these inserts offers a unique combination of a fast reprieve from your pain and long-term healing support for your foot. HTP Heel Seats’ testimonials and reviews are the best possible proof of the power of these orthotic inserts to change lives.
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1. Pedometer-Measured Physical Activity and Health Behaviors in U.S. Adults
BASSETT, DAVID R. JR.1; WYATT, HOLLY R.2; THOMPSON, HELEN2; PETERS, JOHN C.3; HILL, JAMES O.2
2. Plantar Fasciosis
Kendrick Allen Whitney, DPM
Conventional wisdom in medicine has held that plantar fasciitis was an inflammatory condition, however recent studies have shown that plantar fasciitis is more of a degenerative process. And so it has been suggested that the condition be renamed to the more appropriate “plantar fasciosis”.