Plantar Fasciitis: What Are The Main Causes and Symptoms?

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If you’ve ever had Plantar Fasciitis you’ll understand how debilitating it can be. The plantar area basically refers to the sole of the foot from the Latin meaning, ‘sole’ – not referencing the fact that we ‘plant’ our feet firmly on the ground – although that may be a contributing issue if daily activity requires we do so. The plantar facia ligament happens to be the largest ligament in the body. But the part of it that causes all the trouble is where it attaches to the heel bone or the arch of the foot. To experience so much pain just trying to walk is highly alarming, especially if you’re a sportsperson or your job entails a lot of standing or walking.

Our trusty plantar facia are essentially our ‘shock absorbers’, yes you may nickname yours ‘Armstrong’ if you’re someone who suffers on a recurring basis and you have our complete sympathy. Little tears in this rather thick ligament can reach the end of their tether and there you are, struggling like a geriatric just to walk when all you have is a clear case of Plantar Fasciitis.

Symptoms and Causes of Plantar Fasciitis

All that’s happening in matters afoot – pun intended, is due to inflammation. So, you’re not likely to feel it coming on during any particular activity but you will know about it when you stop. There’s not a one-size-fits-all when it comes to what it feels like. Different horses, different courses. Some report dull pain, others experience sharp pain – especially on taking the first few steps after resting. Others feel more of an ache across the sole of the foot or a burning sensation that extends out to the heel.

foot and leg pain

When you are in the middle of a Plantar Fasciitis episode, the stress on the heel due to inflammation and stiffness is enough to make one use the lift or grab a wheelchair and be pushed up the side ramp. There’s no mistaking this crippling condition and once you’ve experienced it you’ll be the first to recognize it in someone else.

So why does it happen? It seems to come out of nowhere, after all, we’ve all walked for decades, right? That’s just it – there aren’t obvious causes, as if you’ve done something crazy and now you’re suffering.

  • Age – happens to be a factor, Plantar Fasciitis happens to favour those between 40 and 60.
  • Obesity – another all-too-common and unnecessary contributor – now we’re asking our feet every day to bear unwarranted burdens.
  • Occupational hazards – teachers, hairdressers, factory workers, to name but a few, who spend long hours standing or walking on hard surfaces are at risk.
  • Sport – such as long-distance running, aerobic exercise, ballet and ballistic training to develop explosive power can cause stress in the plantar area.
  • Foot mechanics – high arches, or flat feet or an abnormal walking style or standing mannerism add strain to the sole of the foot.

Treatment Options for Sufferers

Being is one of the most common orthopaedic issues – something to do with the fact that they are experiencing wear and tear in our daily lives, our planter takes strain. But there is help. A visit to an orthopaedic surgeon is vital. Determining the cause is what determines the treatment.

Some may only need rest and some anti-inflammatories, others are helped by direct local assistance such as ice massage. Still others may need cortisone injections. Custom-made orthotic shoe inserts reduce the motion of the area and give it rest.

Don’t be tempted just to ignore a case of Plantar Fasciitis. Some try to walk differently but that will just put strain on other parts which in turn lead to problems in knees, hips or even in the back. Double-check that your case of planters hasn’t been misdiagnosed – Baxter’s – a nerve entrapment in the heel often mimics Plantar Fasciitis but it is another situation altogether.

plantar faciitis

Don’t self-diagnose either, if you value your continued mobility. Modern treatments include PRP (Platelet-Rich Plasma) injections which markedly accelerate soft tissue healing. Prolotherapy injections promote cell and tissue growth. ESWT (Extracorporeal Shock Wave Therapy) is great for an effective alternative to surgery in Plantar Fasciitis cases. Micro-debridement uses radiofrequency energy and coblation, which makes use of low temperatures and a saline solution to remove necessary tissue.

In conclusion, should you be experiencing any of the symptoms of Planter’s Fasciitis, make an appointment as soon as humanly possible. Delay at this stage is only to delay healing.

Visit and let us assist you and your loved ones with any orthopaedic matter.


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