Plantar fasciitis impacts thousands of people every day. In fact, so many people have been impacted by this stabbing heel pain that it’s been called an epidemic.
If you’ve experienced plantar fasciitis, you know how painful it can be. When is it time to seek plantar fasciitis treatment? How can you cope with the pain? How did it begin?
These are some of the many questions that people ask when dealing with plantar fasciitis. Therefore, it’s important to learn about plantar fasciitis, the symptoms, and how to treat it properly.
What is Plantar Fasciitis?
Plantar fasciitis is a condition where the connective tissue on the bottom of one, or both feet, become inflamed. Plantar fasciitis is sometimes due to overuse. The plantar fascia undergoes a lot of tension to support your body. When you have repetitive movements in your body using the same muscles or tissues, they can experience fatigue and eventually start to give out.
On the other hand, long periods of inactivity can cause more tightness in the calf muscles and Achilles, which can lead to plantar fasciitis as well. Many people notice pain when they first step out of bed in the morning or when they stand after being seated for a while..
One study showed that people with plantar fasciitis may tend to be overweight, which seems to be a contributing factor. It’s also common to see with runners. People with high arches are also at risk because the plantar fascia has to work hard to maintain the arch of your foot and support your body.
Signs You Need Plantar Fasciitis Treatment
You have a stabbing pain in your foot. It may happen when you get out of bed in the morning, or it may happen periodically throughout the day. For some people, it could be a consistent nagging pain. How can you tell if it’s something that you need to treat yourself, or if you need to seek plantar fasciitis treatment? These are the top symptoms:
Your Heel Hurts When You Put Weight on It
The telltale sign of plantar fasciitis is that you experience pain in your heel and the bottom of your foot as soon as you put weight on it. This is most common when you get out of bed in the morning, but can occur at any time.
Consistent Heel Pain
In some cases, the pain is temporary. However, if you experience sharp pain on a consistent basis, you should seek plantar fasciitis treatment.
The Pain Won’t Go Away
How long have you experienced the pain? A few days? A week? If it’s been more than several days, you’ll want to seek treatment for the pain.
Bottom of the Foot is Sensitive or Swollen
Another point of concern is if your feet are tender or swollen. In this case, it’s a sign of inflammation, and you’ll want to get your foot looked at by a doctor.
Plantar Fasciitis Contributing Factors
If you’re experiencing the symptoms listed above, you’ll also want to see if you have some of these contributing factors. If you do, seek treatment for plantar fasciitis as soon as possible.
Check Your Weight Distribution
There are some factors that contribute to plant fasciitis that revolve around the structure of your feet. High arches, flat feet, and prior foot injuries have been known to contribute to plantar fasciitis.
You’ll want to see how you distribute your weight when you stand or walk. If you find that one foot is bearing more weight than the other, you’re putting more pressure on the tissues of your feet.
Your Job or Exercise
Your job and the type of exercise you do can impact the overall health of your feet. Jobs where you stand all day, or exercises where you do a lot of repetitive jumps, can put pressure on your feet.
Age Can Be a Factor
Plantar fasciitis is more common as you get older. People between 40 and 60 years old tend to experience this issue.
You should seek treatment for plantar fasciitis if you experience heel pain, or pain under the foot, and you fall under any of the criteria above.
Plantar Fasciitis Treatment
Now that you know how plantar fasciitis develops and the main symptoms, how do you treat it? You want to note when the pain began, and if there were any activities leading up to experiencing pain.
Calf stretching is the most effective treatment is treating plantar fasciitis. Once this is confirmed as your diagnosis, a calf stretching program should be started to reduce tension in the plantar fascia. This consists of a runner’s stretch against a walk with your knee straight to lengthen the gastrocnemius muscle which comes all the way up by behind your knee.
Lower Inflammation with Medication
Over the counter medication like Ibuprofen can help lower inflammation of the bottom of the feet. It will help with the pain, but it will also mask the underlying issue. Just because your foot feels better doesn’t mean that you should go for a run.
Sometimes, rest is the best medicine, which can be difficult to do in today’s world. You’ll want to limit your activity for several days to see if the pain subsides.
Your shoes will play a major role in how much your feet are supported. You want to have shoes that will provide a neutral arch in your foot and are not too flat. A small heel is often helpful.
A foot massage can also be a great way to release the tension in the bottom of your foot. There are a number of modalities to work out that tension. You might be able to use a tennis ball or lacrosse ball on the bottom of your foot. It would depend on the amount of force your foot would be able to tolerate.
Seek Professional Treatment
If you’ve gone about 5-7 days and have had no relief from the pain, you’ll want to seek professional treatment. Your doctor will give you a diagnosis, and a plan to treat and heal the pain.
You Can Heal from Plantar Fasciitis
Plantar fasciitis is a painful reality for people every day. The sharp, shooting pain can be debilitating and make it difficult to walk, let alone do the activities that you enjoy the most.
You don’t have to let plantar fasciitis get in the way of your enjoyment of life. When you experience heel or foot pain, you want to seek out plantar fasciitis treatment right away to get a proper examination by a doctor. You can then start the road to recovery and get back on your feet in no time.
If you’re experiencing heel or foot issues, contact us today to schedule an appointment at our New York office.