What is Plantar Fasciitis?

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Not Just Your Ordinary Heel Pain

Strenuous activities, long hours of standing and walking, and frequent wearing of high-heeled shoes are some of the causes of heel pain. What people don’t know is that this “heel pain” is actually called Plantar Fasciitis, the thickening or the inflammation of the plantar fascia, which is a sturdy band of ligaments located at the sole of the foot, from the heel bone reaching to the toes. What is plantar fasciitis and who are more prone to getting this condition?

Those who are physically active are more prone to plantar fasciitis since they are more vulnerable to repeated small injuries of the foot that can eventually lead to this said inflammation. One may recognize the swelling through early symptoms of pain in the arch of the foot or on the bottom of the heel. These symptoms will worsen over a period of months without treatment or proper conditioning of the feet.

More common causes of this injury include the wearing of non-supportive footwear with poor cushioning of the arch, and also the quick change from high-heeled shoes to flat soles. These occurrences are more evident on workers and professionals who require long hours on their feet. Flat surfaces result to an abnormal strain on the plantar fascia, thus causing inflammation of the ligament.

Also, those who endure long hours of walking, running, and standing are likely to damage their plantar fascia since they put more strain and pressure to their foot for quite some time. Being overweight can also add stress to the heels of a person. Additionally, the sudden increase in intensity or distance of exercises and poor and rushed warm-ups done by athletes contribute to the sudden stretching of the sole that can damage its ligaments.

If you are wondering what is plantar fasciitis and what causes it, then note that lifestyle or wrong foot practices are not the only ones that contribute to the problem. People who are naturally flat-footed or high-arched are most likely to encounter this injury. These problems with foot structure can radiate pain and swelling to the heel of a person.

Like any other type of injury and swelling, plantar fasciitis is curable and treatable. Exercises and treatment such as painkillers, proper and good footwear, and heel supports can speed up the recovery of the plantar fascia. However, it is advisable to consult a doctor first and undergo an X-ray procedure to clearly determine the stress fracture on the feet and its severity. MRIs also show other tears and calcification on the plantar fascia that causes possible heel pain.

Worse cases of this injury sometimes demand steroid injections that serve as anti-inflammatory medications to the tissue. Though this solution guarantees faster condition improvement, it does not totally cure the injury. In the long-term, people will need to resort to resiliency and strengthening exercises of the foot after trying this temporary remedy.

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