Treatment Options for Plantar Fasciitis

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Plantar fasciitis causes pain in the bottom of the heel. This article discusses the causes, symptoms and treatment options for the condition.

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Plantar fasciitis causes pain in the bottom of the heel. This article discusses the causes symptoms and treatment options for the condition. If your first steps in the morning cause a stabbing pain in your heel it could be plantar fasciitis. One of the most common causes of heel pain plantar fasciitis involves inflammation of the plantar fascia the thick band of tissue that runs under the foot and connects the heel bone to the toes. These tissues support the muscles and arch of the foot. When these tissues get overly stretched tiny tears can occur causing dull or sharp pain in one or both feet. This persistent kind of repetitive strain injury affects athletes like runners walkers and hikers. Leaving the symptoms untreated can lead to further complications. With proper and timely treatment the condition can be effectively managed within months. In fact sports injuries treatment in Brooklyn based healthcare centers involves the use of a wide range of nonsurgical options to help athletes better manage the pain associated with the condition and regain strength and function. According to reports from the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons about 2 million patients are treated for plantar fasciitis every year in the United States. While runners are most likely to be affected many people who are overweight also complain about the condition. Ballet and dance aerobic performers who experience a lot of stress on their heels are another category of people who may develop this condition. What Causes Plantar Fascia Pain The condition can occur due to repetitive stretching and tearing leading to degeneration of the plantar fascia or due to sudden trauma. Age is one of the most common risk factors – the condition usually affects people ages 40-60. Activities such as such as long-distance running ballistic jumping activities ballet dancing and aerobic dance place a lot of stress on the heel and can result in the early onset of the condition. Using shoes that are worn out or are poorly fitting are another risk factor. Those with flat feet or have a high arch or an abnormal pattern of walking can also develop planter heel pain. In addition Treatment Options for Plantar Fasciitis

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walking standing or running for a prolonged time can increase the risk of this condition to a great extent. Common Symptoms Pain in the bottom of the foot near the heel is one of the main symptoms associated with the condition. Some people experience pain at the bottom mid-foot area which develops gradually over time. The intensity of pain may vary from dull to sharp pain. The pain becomes worse in the morning when you take your first steps out of bed or if you’ve been sitting or lying down for a while. After prolonged activity the pain can flare up due to increased inflammation. Treating Plantar Fasciitis Diagnosis of this condition is based on medical history evaluation and physical examination. Physicians will check for areas of tenderness in your foot. Imaging tests such as X-ray Magnetic Resonance Imaging MRI scan will be done to identify whether pain is caused by another problem such as a stress fracture or a pinched nerve. Generally most cases of plantar fascia can be easily managed with various nonsurgical treatment modalities: • Rest - Resting your foot is one of the most important means of easing plantar fasciitis-related pain. This means avoiding activities such as running jumping dancing or walking barefoot which place unnecessary strain on your foot.

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• Applying Ice - Applying ice for 15 to 20 minutes several times a day can ease pain and swelling. However be sure to wrap the ice pack in a thin towel so that it does not come into direct contact with your skin. • Elevating the foot - Elevating the foot with a pillow during sleep can be helpful. • Physical therapy – Physical therapy consists of therapeutic exercise programs such as strengthening stretching and aerobic exercises to strengthen the lower leg muscles and stabilize your ankle and heel. • Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications – Pain relievers such as ibuprofen Advil Motrin IB others and naproxen sodium Aleve can ease the pain and inflammation associated with plantar fasciitis. • Cortisone injections – Injecting steroid medication into the plantar fascia can provide temporary pain relief. However physicians limit the number of injections as multiple injections can weaken the plantar fascia and possibly cause it to rupture which can lead to a flat foot and chronic pain. • Night splints – Wearing a splint stretches the plantar fascia overnight by keeping your foot at a 90-degree angle while you sleep. • Supportive shoes and orthotics - Supportive shoes and orthotics take the extra stress off the ligament. Foot Levelers Orthotics soles can be easily slipped into any type of closed footwear. By supporting the foot’s natural structure these functional orthotics soles help alleviate pain throughout the body and improve balance. Surgery to detach the plantar fascia from the heel bone will be considered if the pain is severe and nonsurgical modalities have failed to work. Most acute sports injuries and conditions like plantar fasciitis resolve on their own without treatment. Specific foot and calf stretches and exercises can speed up recovery and relieve pain. Prevention steps include – maintaining a healthy body weight wearing supportive well-cushioned footwear and avoiding very flat shoes or high heels stretching your arches and switching to low-impact forms of exercise like swimming or stationary cycling.

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