You have been an active runner for years, but you started feeling pain lately. That pain might be caused by plantar fasciitis, a condition that frequently happens to athletes and others who put the foot under repetitive stress.
So, what is the main cause of plantar fasciitis?
That is what we are trying to figure out in this article. Understanding the problem will help you handle it better and minimize its influence on your quality of life. Here is what you should know about this health issue!
What Is Plantar Fasciitis?
Before we can discuss what the main cause of plantar fasciitis is, we have to clear up what this condition is. It is a type of inflammation that occurs in the plantar fascia.
According to scientists, it is a ligament that is thick and reminds one of the webs. Its task is to connect the foot’s front and the heel. They spread throughout the entire foot’s bottom – from the front to the back.
The primary function of the plantar fascia is shock absorption.
Whether you are walking, running, or jumping, its task is to absorb pressure and facilitate optimal movement. Plantar fasciitis occurs when this region doesn’t function the way it should and becomes inflamed.
What Is the Main Cause of Plantar Fasciitis?
The most common reason for plantar fasciitis is the overuse of this region. If you overstretch or overload the area, that might result in damaging it.
Plantar fasciitis is a frequent orthopedic problem and a common reason why people turn to medical professionals.
Since the main cause is overuse, professional athletes and those who put plantar fascia under a lot of stress daily are the riskiest groups for developing this condition.
Although inflammation of the region is often the reason behind plantar fasciitis, the condition might also be caused by the degeneration of the area.
Here is an overview of the risk factors connected to plantar fasciitis:
- Wear and tear caused by aging. The statistics indicate that this condition frequently occurs in persons aged between 40 and 60
- Overuse and overloading the region. That might include running, intense exercises that put these ligaments to work, or standing for an extended period
- You can develop this condition if you wear high heels frequently
- Arthritis and other medical conditions might be connected to this problem
- People with high arches and flat feet are at a higher risk of this condition
- If you are obese or overweight, your feet will be under pressure when walking. That might accelerate the wear and tear that causes plantar fasciitis
Although there is no scientific explanation, it seems that plantar fasciitis is more dangerous for women. The assumption is that they put more pressure on the region by wearing high heels and other unsupportive shoes.
What Are the Symptoms of Plantar Fasciitis?
The primary symptom of this condition is pain. You might feel it throughout the entire foot, but it is most common close to the heel.
The severity of pain might vary, but it usually starts slow and works its way up through the pain scale. The pain might get worse after a running session, or after standing for hours. You can also feel pain when getting up in the morning or after resting for a long time.
A medical professional should confirm the diagnosis of plantar fasciitis, and recommend the best treatment for your situation.
Diagnosing the issue might require an MRI if the doctor believes there are fractures, or an X-ray to ensure it is not arthritis.
Additionally, the doctor might ask you to flex and move your foot, and they might check your muscle tone, reflexes, and other relevant factors.
How to Treat Plantar Fasciitis
The crucial thing to have in recovering from this problem is patience. You will need to spend a lot of time resting, as well as limit your movement as much as possible.
Orthotics and Supportive Shoes
It is essential to use supportive shoes whenever you are moving or standing. Apart from that, you can also discuss using orthotics with a medical professional.
Orthotics are specially designed items like cushioned heel supports and inserts. Their task is to lower the impact your ligaments feel when walking, which helps to accelerate the recovery process.
While sleeping, you might want to consider using night splints. These devices will assist in maintaining a flexed foot during the entire night. It can potentially reduce arch pain caused by tightening the region while lying down.
Physical and Chiropractic Therapy
Discuss the exercises that you can’t and cannot do for plantar fasciitis.
You should regularly perform stretching exercises since that assists in keeping your muscles relaxed. Physical therapy can also help during the recovery process.
You should also consider chiropractic therapy to minimize pain and improve movement range. It is essential to pick an experienced professional capable of recommending the right therapy for your condition.
Medication and Surgery
If the doctor notices the pain is severe, they might prescribe painkillers until your overall condition gets better.
Additionally, you might be prescribed with injections of cortisone. Its anti-inflammatory properties should accelerate the recovery, counteract potential escalation of the problem, and reduce pain.
Your doctor might also resort to shockwave treatment. It is a non-surgical therapy that can support the healing process. Doctors rarely resort to surgeries, and only recommend it if no other treatments showed results.
Can I Prevent Plantar Fasciitis?
It is impossible to recommend a bulletproof solution against this condition. However, it is always a good idea to adjust your lifestyle. Avoid spending hours standing, especially if you have problems with extra pounds.
Try to reach and maintain optimal weight. A balanced diet is suitable to avoid and recover from plantar fasciitis. Fish oil that contains omega-3 fatty acids is imperative, as well as glucosamine. bromelain, zinc, vitamin C, and other nutrients can also contribute to fighting inflammation.
If necessary, avoid running and other high-impact exercises. That is also recommended while going through a plantar fasciitis recovery process.
As for the shoes, always buy ones that provide optimal arch support. That is individual, which is why you should purchase footwear based on your arches.
If you are an athlete, try to limit running in a pair of shoes to 500 miles or so.