Every day, many hard-working Americans suffer problems such as stiffness, tight tendons, foot pain and more. While you may think that this is just a sign that you've had a hard, long day or perhaps you worn the wrong shoes, the fact is you may be suffering from a very common condition that is called plantar fasciitis. More than two million Americans experience this painful foot problem.
The pain associated with plantar fasciitis can be minor, but if ignored, it will only get worse. Luckily, it isn't hard to address the symptoms of Plantar fasciitis or even to heal it. In this article, we'll discuss this common condition and provide good advice on overcoming it. Read on to learn more.
Inflammation is the Basis of All Illness
The suffix, -“itis”, means inflammation and plantar fasciitis is inflammation of the tissue (fascia) of the plantar (lower or sole ) surface of the foot. The plantar fascia is a ligament that runs from heel to toe on the sole of your foot, and if it gets inflamed, pain is sure to follow.
Plantar fasciitis is most often felt in the heel and may be associated with the development of heel spurs. It was once thought that heel spurs cause this problem, but now podiatrists understand that heel spurs are actually a symptom of plantar fasciitis.
If you are suffering from this condition, you are likely to feel a great deal of pain when you first get out of bed in the morning and then find that it subsides as the day progresses.
You may also hear of this condition called “policeman's heel“. This is because it symptoms can manifest after spending a great deal of time on your feet.
Why Do People Develop Plantar Fasciitis?
The tissues or fascia of the sole of your foot are like shock absorbers. They provide support and bounce for your foot's arches. Just like shock absorbers in your car, as time passes, they tend to lose their springiness and experience wear and tear.
Excessive stress on the fascia will hasten the wear, tear and damage. For this reason, if you have a job that keeps you on your feet long hours, you are likely to develop this condition.
This is not the only reason why you might develop Plantar fasciitis, though. If you are in poor health, overweight or have a gait problem (e.g. one leg is shorter than the other) the soles of your feet are more likely to take a beating.
You are unlikely to develop Plantar fasciitis when you are young, but once you are past the age of forty, the likelihood that you will develop it increases greatly.
Is it Possible to Avoid Plantar Fasciitis?
Between the ages of forty and sixty, you're very likely to develop this problem no matter what you do. Even so, it just makes good sense to eat right, participate in regular light-to-moderate exercise and watch your weight.
Taking good care of your feet and wearing good shoes with the right kind of support for your arches will help you avoid or mitigate this problem.
What If It's Too Late?
If you've already developed plantar fasciitis, you'll be happy to know that it isn't difficult to treat. As with any other condition, you should see your doctor if you suspect that you are developing this condition or have already developed it. A definite diagnosis can help you know exactly what to do in terms of treatment.
As with any other stress-related injury, the first and best thing you can do is to practice RICE. Rest, ice, compression and elevation work wonders to reduce pain and swelling and speed healing. If the soles of your feet hurt, practice RICE and call your doctor for an appointment.
What Will The Doctor Recommend?
Your doctor may recommend a wide variety of therapies including:
Consistent Care Can Resolve Plantar Fasciitis Symptoms
When you are in the throes of plantar fasciitis, it may feel as if the pain will never go away. Luckily, taking swift action with items that you have at home can provide immediate relief. Following up with good medical care and positive lifestyle changes can provide lasting relief.