Plantar fasciitis, also known as heel pain, is one of the most frequently encountered foot complaints. Millions of people suffer from this condition in the United States each year. Plantar fasciitis is defined as a severe pain at the heel of the foot that is caused by irritation in the band of tissue connecting the heel bone to other bones in the foot. It is a disabling, degenerative disorder of the foot and lower leg with the highest risk among active men and women between 40 and 60 years of age.
Plantar Fasciitis Causes and Symptoms
Plantar fasciitis is an inflammation of the plantar fascia, the tough tissue that stretches from the bottom of the foot to the top of the heel. Symptoms of plantar fasciitis include painful heel spurs (heel pain), pain when rising from a squat or other position such as sitting or lying down, pain at the bottom of the foot, or the feeling that the heel is “giving way”. Pain and tenderness are typically localized to the plantar surface of the foot.
People most likely to develop this condition are runners, diabetics, and those with very active jobs involving being on their feet often such as factory workers, mall attendants and working as a food server.
There are several different foot ligament injuries that are diagnosed as Plantar Fasciitis. The most common is abrasion or shoe-bite (also called fat pad syndrome). The other is called the planter ligament tear resulting in a slipped arch.
Plantar fasciitis is more than an achiness in the heel. The heel pain, often worse in the morning, is actually caused by tight calf muscles and it can also be due to sitting for long periods of time.
Excessive strain on the plantar fascia is another cause and may be due to excess weight or being overweight.
Plantar Fasciitis Diagnosis and Treatments
This condition is diagnosed based on your medical history and physical examination. It is usually not necessary to undergo tests but MRI and X-rays may be suggested to make sure there are no other problems such as fractures.
With plantar fasciitis, the ligament in the heel can become damaged or inflamed, causing a sharp, stabbing heel pain when trying to walk. It is often precipitated by poorly fitting shoes and can be relieved by stretching the arch of the foot or the foot itself. It is also best to have comfortable shoes for plantar fasciitis to provide proper support, cushioning, and shock absorption.
Many other treatment options exist, including application of ice, rest, stretching and strengthening exercises, change of shoes, arch supports, orthotics, night splints, anti-inflammatory agents ( NSAID's) and surgery. Usually, plantar fasciitis can be treated successfully by tailoring treatment to an individual's risk factors and preferences
Should I Have A Complete Foot Reconstruction?
People who suffer foot pain as the result of a dysfunction in form, function, and/or nerve supply can opt for foot reconstruction surgery, in which the foot and ankle surgeon moves portions of the foot to a more natural position, restores stability, and enhances motion using an external fixator.