Plantar Fasciitis is also called as Heel Spur syndrome or Policeman’s heel that is characterized by the inflammation of Plantar Fascia.
What is Plantar Fasciitis Pain?
Plantar Fascia is a band of tissue that connects the heel bone and the toes. So, basically, this tissue runs along the entire foot area. It also acts as a shock absorbent.
Functions of Plantar Fascia:
- It is the tension bearing part of the foot
- It maintains stiffness of the foot
- It helps us in running, walking and in general locomotion of the feet
- It maintains the arch of the foot
- It helps protect the deeper tissues
What causes Plantar Fasciitis?
A ligament performs the function of holding two points. However, the problem lies when the ligament cannot perform its function properly. As a result of which the arch of the foot is maintained poorly. In Plantar Fasciitis, the ligaments do not hold things as tightly as they should. The job of the Fascia is to hold the two points of a foot in a particular manner. However, when you try to walk or make a movement, the foot stretches out or becomes a bit elongated. The characteristic of the Fascia is that this tissue does not stretch. So, if the foot becomes stretched, the Fascia has to experience a pull. When the Fascia experiences a pull, it is predominantly on the heel side as the calcaneus part is narrow and hence a person experiences pain. Now, when the Fascia is subjected to the constant stretching and tearing, stabbing pain is felt. This is called Plantar Fasciitis.
- Post static dyskinesia is observed. That means that after a period of rest, when a person moves his foot a pain is felt. It can also be called as morning heel pain. When we sleep, we rest our feet in such a position that the Plantar Fascia relaxes and shortens. But when you take the first steps, it suddenly gets stretched leading to stabbing pain.
- Difficulty in climbing stairs due to stiffness in the heel
- Heel spurs are small bony protrusions which occur in the foot as a result of the constant tear and inflammation of the Plantar Fascia
- Heel pain can range from a burning pain to a stabbing pain
- Swelling and tenderness usually on the bottom part of the foot
- Pregnant women and obese people can be at risk due to the excess load on the feet
- A person with a tight Achilles tendon (which connects the calf to the foot) can cause pressure on the Plantar Fascia
- Long-distance running, jumping and ballet can cause pressure on the Plantar Fascia
- Flat-footed people can be at greater risk due to the problem in the arch of the foot
- Stretching and flexing exercises especially meant for the foot, calves and the Achilles tendon can help reduce pain
- The good old ice compress after a straining activity can help reduce pain and inflammation
- Lightfoot massages and reflexology may help in the reduction of pain
- Change your shoes after a regular time period to provide your feet with proper comfort and support
- Avoid high heels or stilettoes as they put pressure on your heel bone
- It is advisable to reduce your weight if you are overweight which can help minimize the amount of load on your feet
- Stressful athletic activities can be replaced with low-intensity exercises
- Night splints can be worn at night for keeping the foot at 90 degrees which can help reduce the morning heel pain
- Shock wave therapy is a procedure which is characterized by projecting sound waves at your Plantar Fascia to help stun the nerves in your foot and ease pain
If the remedies do not work and pain persists, it is better to consult a physician to rule out any underlying cause.