Plantar Fasciitis may not be something you have heard much of, yet is a very common issue that is estimated to be affecting over 2 million people in the US alone – the UK isn’t much further behind.
This is a condition that causes the bottom of your heel to hurt, sometimes incredibly painfully. Today, we will be going over our methods on how to diagnose, treat, and understand the science behind this.
Fun fact! The name ‘Plantar Fasciitis’ is derived from the word ‘plantar fascia’, which is a broad ligament that basically supports your feet and helps you walk.
WHAT ARE THE TELLTALE SYMPTOMS OF PLANTAR FASCIITIS?
The most obvious symptom would be the actual condition ‒ which is when the bottom of your heel starts to hurt, whether it be from one foot or both.
It should be noted that this pain can affect everyone in different ways, though it is common for the condition to get worse after being sedentary for a while. In addition, it can be sharp, dull, or even spread to other ligaments.
A very notable thing to emphasize is that people usually only feel the pain after exercise, and not during it; this is a rather difficult symptom to determine, and also makes it easier to ‘overwork or damage’ your feet unknowingly.
If you ever think you may be developing Plantar Fasciitis, don’t hesitate to go to a doctor for a physical checkup ‒ they will most likely just evaluate your coordination or sensitivity, though there are cases where MRIs have been involved.
WHAT CAN CAUSE THIS CONDITION TO OCCUR?
There is a multitude of reasons that Plantar Fasciitis could be happening to you. Arguably the most common one is that you’ve constantly stretched, or torn, your fascia ‒ causing it to become irritated and damaged.
Additionally, obese or overweight people are more likely to start developing this condition; this is because the extra fat can add more pressure to your ligaments, hence meaning your feet have to support that much more weight.
Strangely enough, you can also start suffering from this when you are too active ‒ mainly if you’re a runner or on your feet 24/7!
HOW CAN YOU TREAT THIS?
We’d strongly advise going to see a qualified podiatrist just like ourselves but a simple home remedy you could try is applying ice to your feet a few times a day (that’s it!). This stops further swelling, and can generally help numb the pain a bit.
Physical therapy plays a major role in any successful recovery; it can help strengthen your muscles and balance. However, there are more drastic measures needed for serious cases ‒ some of which being extracorporeal shock therapy or gastrocnemius recession.
One major tip would just be to take it easy; doing regular stretching exercises while avoiding putting too much strain on your feet can already help a ton. Additionally, it might be worthwhile to invest in some arch supports or casts.