What is plantar fasciitis?

Heel pain in adults can result from several different disorders, however by far the most common cause is a disorder called plantar fasciitis. The pain from plantar fasciitis commonly occurs beneath the heel and the traditional symptom is that the pain is worse when getting up first thing each morning for those first couple of steps. Following those initial steps the pain does ease to some degree, but it worsens again as the day goes on. The plantar fascia is a long ligament beneath the bottom of the foot which is responsible for supporting the arch of the foot, so plantar fasciitis is caused by there is too much load on the arch of the foot. The primary risk factors for this are tight calf muscles, being obese and having greater amounts of activity. Lower limb alignment issues that raises the load in the plantar fascia are also an issue in increasing the strain.
 
The initial approach to plantar fasciitis is pain alleviation with the use of ice after activity and possibly the use of anti-inflammatory and pain relief medication. Strapping may also be used temporarily to help with the pain. Foot orthotics can be used to reduce the force on the arch of the foot and fix any biomechanical problems that might be a factor in leading to the condition. It is very important to stretch the calf muscles as this is a significant risk. Night may also be used to help with that stretching if necessary. Strengthening the muscles which also support the arch can also be of great benefit since they take some stress of the plantar fascia. Over the long term, weight reduction is crucial because this actually does create a lot of strain in the foot. In the event these kinds of methods may not be helping to well, then it is time for you to look at things like shockwave therapy or corticosteroid injections. A final consideration could be surgical procedures.

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