Plantar Fasciitis is a very common cause of pain in the foot, from the heel to the ball of the foot. The pain is the result of a thick band of fascia tissue that runs from the toes to the heel. This plantar fascia is a long thin ligament that you can feel directly below the skin. The condition of plantar fasciitis is an inflammation of that tissue. According to the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, approximately 2 million people will be treated for the condition every year (1). So how to tell if you have plantar fasciitis? Keep reading!
Symptoms of Plantar Fasciitis
The plantar fascia experiences a lot of wear and tear in the body because it is a shock absorber and supports the arch of the foot. When there is undue pressure on the arch of the foot or pressure on the foot it can damage those ligaments. Increased pressure can be caused by tight calf muscles, tight Achilles tendon or tight plantar fascia. Individuals who are obese or overweight will also cause an increased amount of pressure to the plantar fascia. Other causes of the inflammation of the tendon can also include a drastic or sudden increase in activities, such as runners milage or time on the basketball court or soccer field. Overuse, overpronation without correction or old shoes that don’t offer enough support can also increase the amount of pressure on the tissue and increase the risk of inflammation.
The most common complaints of pain are those that are on the bottom of the foot near the heel but if you suffer from plantar fasciitis you may also feel stabbing pain in the arch of the foot. Most often you experience pain when you first get up in the morning or after a long time of sitting and resting. This pain is caused from the tendon shortening while resting and then stretching when you begin walking.
Treatment Options for Plantar Fasciitis
Sometimes plantar fasciitis is a self-limiting condition, especially if the extra stressors are removed from the situation. But, if they don’t resolve then other treatments must be instituted. Your doctor may recommend:
- Night splints
- Arch supports
- Change of shoes
- Cold therapy to relieve inflammation (see suggestions below)
- Anti-inflammatory medications
- Physical therapy
- Extracorporeal shockwave therapy or surgery
Here are a few popular options when it comes to cold therapy for treating plantar fasciitis:
If you wake up dreading that moment where your foot actually touches the ground, you are not alone. There are over 200 foot injuries reported annually and most of these injuries can be prevented. The problem is that most people rarely think about this until after the damage has been done. Thankfully there are tools like this recovery set which help to support many of these issues.
The great thing about this set is that it provides hot and cold therapeutic benefits. If you want cold therapy, just leave the balls in the freezer (min of 4 hours is recommended) and then take them out when needed. For heat therapy, simply put the ball in a container of really hot tap water for 10-20 minutes. The ball will stay warm for approximately 15 minutes before you have to repeat the process. The ergonomic design of the high density foam surface helps to channel your blood directly to the tissues in your feet which promotes faster healing. You can help with myriad foot problems. It has been shown to be intensely effective. For more information on whether you should apply hot or cold therapy, refer to our post “Benefits Of Heat And Cold Therapy For Pain”.
Many customers have stated that this combination has relieved the pain in their feet after a long day of walking around and has helped with long-term physical therapy. The hot and cold therapy in particular was not only stimulating and soothing but the spiky balls stimulated acupressure therapy. This means that multiple forms of therapy can be achieved in the comfort of your own home, whenever needed. More importantly, the whole recovery set is portable which means you can bring the foot rollers, massaging balls, and the carrying bag wherever you go. Going on vacation? Take it with you to use after those long days of walking!
This hot and cold therapy wrap is an ideal solution for those who have sustained injuries or live with pain which considerably limits movement. The breathable neoprene wrap has adjustable Velcro straps so that you can fit it to your foot and leg no matter how swollen it might be. More importantly, the neoprene is extremely comfortable. Using the adjustments, you can not only keep the perfect fit but maintain the ideal pressure for your foot and your ankle, depending on your injury. With the heating and the ice packs you can apply hot or cold therapy depending on your personal needs. There are small packs and large packs so you can target a small area on your ankle or foot, or provide therapy to the entire region.
Reviews have stated that this product does the trick, so to speak, for heel and ankle issues. Users whose feet are swollen by the time they get home from a day out and about can enjoy soothing relief and reduced swelling. The main “pro” that customers report back is that the entire kit is adjustable. Some wraps available on the market these days are too tight, causing discomfort, while others are too loose and either don’t stay put, or don’t provide any value at all because the heat or cold is only applied partially. This particular design stays where you need it.
These recommendations will depend upon the stresses that caused the inflammation in the first place. In more serious cases, where several months of aggressive therapy is not successful, your physician may consider a surgical option, including gastrocnemius recession in which the calf muscle is surgically lengthened or a fascia release, during which the ligament is partially cut to release the tension. Nonsurgical treatment will almost always improve the pain, but treatment can last several months. You can prevent this type of injury by staying flexible and not increasing your athletic activity quickly or drastically.
REFERENCES & ADDITIONAL RESOURCES
(1) American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons: Plantar Fasciitis and Bone Spurs
Sports Injury Clinic: Plantar Fasciitis
Runners World: Plantar Fasciitis
Best Men and Women’s Hiking Boots for Plantar Fasciitis