Plantar Fasciitis and Treatment Options Explained

What is Plantar Fasciitis?

Plantar fasciitis is a very common foot problem that causes a lot of pain at the bottom of the heel. This condition is caused when the plantar fascia, a thin ligament located at the bottom of your foot and connecting your toes to your heel, becomes inflamed. This ligament is very important to you being able to walk and as you walk or run, it experiences wear and tear and after prolonged period of wear and tear, it becomes torn or damaged. When the plantar fascia becomes torn or damaged it becomes inflamed resulting in a sharp pain at the bottom of the heel. It also causes the heel to become very stiff.

Who are most affected by this condition?

Men and women between the ages of forty and seventy are at the highest risk of obtaining this condition; however, some women and some men within this age category are at higher risks than others. Those who are at the most risks are those that are overweight and those who are very active.

If you are overweight or obese, it is very easy for your plantar fascia to become damaged and inflamed because of the additional pressure placed on it by your weight.

If you are a very active individual such as a runner, a lot of pressure is placed on the plantar fascia. In addition, it needs to absorb the shock from your daily recurring activities which cause damages to the plantar fascia as well. If you are a runner and you do develop this condition, it is important that you seek treatment as soon as possible because this pain in the heel can become so severe that it can result in a running injury.

What are the symptoms of Plantar Fasciitis?

So how exactly do you distinguish between plantar fasciitis and an incidental heel pain? Well, the main symptoms of heel pain is a sharp burning or aching sensation (pain) at the bottom of the foot. The distinguishing fact about the pain caused by this condition and the pain caused by an incidental heel pain is that this pain it is usually the worst in the morning while incident heel pain can be at its worst an any given time of the day. When you are asleep, the plantar fascia is not in use and does not stretch so when you wake up in the morning and take those first few steps, it stretches resulting in the painful sensation felt but as you start to move about, the pain reduces. Basically, whenever you rest your feet and thus rest the plantar fascia, when you get back up, you will feel the pain really bad.

What are treatment options for Plantar Fasciitis?

Plantar fasciitis can be treated in a different manner. There are treatments that you can try at home, there are professional treatments which can be obtained from purchasing professional devices such as orthotics which is used to correct the foot condition and in the worse cases, and medical treatments will be required. 

Researchers are also looking into physical therapy. An example of physical therapy used to treat plantar fasciitis is the treatment conducted by the Loyola study which focuses on soft tissue mobilization to release muscle tightness though the use of massage and other techniques conducted by a physical therapist. Another physical therapy technique that will be researched by the Loyola study is the Graston Technique which is an instrument-assisted therapy. This therapy uses a stainless steel instrument to comb over and identify scar tissues which are then broken up so that they can be absorbed by the body.

Braces and Supports

Some of the most common treatment options for plantar fasciitis that are simple to use and cost effective are braces and supports. Braces and support include things such as night splints and special orthotics also known as arch support.

Night splints are quite effective because they stretch the arch of your foot while you are sleeping and lengthens the plantar fasciitis which will prevent the pain and stiffness normally felt in the morning when you just get out of bed.

Orthotics which are known as arch supports can be easily purchased online at companies such as Footlogics. These devices are placed in the shoes to help to alleviate the pain caused by plantar fasciitis. Orthotics distribute the pressure on the plantar fasciitis thus protecting it from becoming damaged further. They are very comfortable and are available in different shapes, sizes and materials. In addition, you can also have custom-made orthotics specially designed to meet the requirement of your foot condition. 

Testimonials

What our customers have to say about our products

I had been wearing insoles for the past three weeks but still suffered from foot pain every day, until a friend recommended you. After the consultation, I realised that I have been using the wrong insert for my condition. Its been a week and counting and the pain has reduced dramatically. Thank you

By Peter Arnold
BORASTON

Thank you for the orthotics. I had tried a few before I finally settled on yours after I noticed a considerable improvement. Sometimes I forget that I have been suffering from foot pain! The insoles are soo comfortable.

By Eva Lucas
LETTON

Hi there! I had been suffering from constant foot pain for several months, and tried all sorts of inserts with no success. I decided to try Jack Orthotics after my brother recommended them. I was abit sceptical, but I am glad I tried because I haven't experienced foot pain in a week!

By Ryan Howard
LLANARMON