What is Plantar Fasciitis?
Plantar Fasciitis is one of the most common causes of heel pain which is caused due to inflammation of the thick band tissue that runs across the bottom of the foot and is the connection between your toes and heel bone.
Plantar fasciitis can be self-diagnosed: See if you feel a sharp and striking pain while taking your first steps early morning, or if your feet hurt a lot from standing. Runners, people who are overweight and people who don’t wear shoes that provide adequate support have an increased risk of plantar fasciitis.
Five Fast Facts about Plantar Fasciitis
- It is the most common cause of heel pain in adults. On average, around one million patients visit a doctor for treatment for Plantar Fasciitis.
- Plantar fasciitis can be caused by multiple factors including aging, over-training, obesity or shoes with very thin insoles.
- Plantar Fasciitis most often affects middle-aged people and those who spend a lot of time on their feet and exercising. About 83% percent of those with plantar fasciitis have heel pain.
- Plantar Fasciitis also occurs to active working adults between the age of 25 and 65.
- Runners or athletes who have physically demanding careers are quite susceptible to developing pain and heel problems.
Plantar Fasciitis Risk Factors
Age: It is most common between the age of 40 and 60.
Foot Mechanics: If your foot has a high arch, or you have flat feet, and you have an abnormal pattern of walking, then it is likely that you will suffer from Plantar Fasciitis.
Obesity: Those unwanted extra pounds on your body will put extra stress on your plantar fascia.
Occupation: Jobs that require being on your feet most of the time can end up damaging their plantar fascia.
Natural Treatment for Plantar Fasciitis
1. Night Splints
Some people have the habit of sleeping with feet pointing downwards. This can shorten the plantar fascia and the Achilles tendon, and prevent them from being able to stretch at all. When wearing night splints to sleep, always keep your feet at a 90-degree angle. This way, instead of shortening your plantar fascia, you will get a constant stretch while you sleep. Night splints work very well, and once the pain is gone, you don’t need to wear them any longer.
When you wear night splints then the arch of the foot does not become easily contracted at night.
2. Ice Application
Placing an ice pack gently over the heel can help to diminish the symptoms of heel pain. An ice pack is helpful for the pain when you suffer a sudden flare up and it can also help in reducing the inflammation. Take a pack of ice and cover it with a thin towel or use an ice pack and hold it over the area three to four times daily for 15-20 minutes. You can even roll an ice cube under your foot to relieve the pain.
3. Shoe Inserts
These are another method of treatment for plantar fasciitis. The shoe inserts permit the patients to continue with their routine activities, pain-free. Some orthotic insoles that are helpful are arch supports, gel inserts and custom orthotics.
4. Strassburg Sock
Strassburg socks prevent the pain that is caused by plantar fasciitis upon taking the first few steps early morning. Strassburg socks are being used by people all over the world to relieve the pain of plantar fasciitis.
5. Extracorporeal Shock Wave Therapy
This therapy uses energy pulses to cause a microtrauma to a tissue of the plantar fascia. The microtrauma caused to the tissue induces the repair of plantar fascia. The ESWT is recommended to patients for whom the above-mentioned treatments have not produced adequate relief.
6. Foot Massage
Begin by applying a little moisturizer to your feet. Think of your foot as a tic-tac-toe board. Apply medium to firm pressure along the full length of the arch of your feet, starting from your heels to your toes. Now, massage across the width of the arch and continue the massage on each foot for at least 2 minutes.
Plantar fasciitis can be frustratingly bothersome and painful. Heal it slowly by taking a few steps at a time until all your symptoms are alleviated. Treatment for plantar fasciitis requires little more than a large dose of patience.