Plantar Fasciitis


Plantar Fasciitis is an inflammation of the plantar fascia due to excessive strain on the tissues in the arches of the foot. This inflammation will create pain on the bottom of the heel, especially first thing in the morning. If you push your thumb hard in the middle of the heel and feel pain, the likely diagnosis is plantar fasciitis.

This condition can be caused by numerous activities. Over-activity, sudden changes in movement when carrying a large amount of weight, poorly arched shoes and constant walking or running on hard surfaces are a few of the causes. Often plantar fasciitis may lead to a heel spur.

To help alleviate the pain, stretching the Achilles tendon and the plantar fascia are often the best remedy. Rest, stable and sturdy shoes, shoe inserts and weight loss are also important. When plantar fasciitis is severe, physiotherapy is an option. This therapy breaks down scar tissue and involves specific stretches and myofascial release. Ibuprofen and other pain relievers will only help for a limited time. Cortisone injections are also limited relievers, but also can cause more problems, such as rupture in the tissue of the plantar fascia itself.

The new technology of extracorporeal shockwave therapy can be beneficial if the plantar fasciitis lasts more than six months. As a last resort, surgery can be performed to release the inflammation.

For joggers and those who run constantly, stretching is vitally important to your warm-up routine. Plantar fasciitis is more common in runners because of prolonged running and pounding on hard surfaces. The best way to alleviate the condition is rest. Wear proper running shoes to support the arch of the foot. Orthotic inserts also can help if used in running shoes to allow the weight to be distributed correctly.

During your workout, change surfaces gradually. For example, run around a flat surface and then a gradually increasing plane rather than beginning your workout uphill directly. With these remedies, plantar fasciitis should subside.

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