Plantar fasciitis is a condition characterized by pain in the heel. The plantar fascia ligament is strong and weblike, and it acts as a shock absorber supporting the foot. The ligaments experience plenty of wear and tear, and excessive pressure can cause damage or tears.
The condition can make it difficult to walk. The inflammation of the plantar fascia causes pain and stiffness. Plantar fasciitis is a major reason why many people visit a chiropractor.
The root cause of plantar fasciitis is not very clear, but studies point to degeneration rather than inflammation. Active individuals between ages 40 to 70 are most likely to develop plantar fasciitis. The condition is more likely to affect women than men. Pregnant women can experience plantar fasciitis especially during the final weeks of the pregnancy.
People who are overweight have a higher risk of developing the condition. This is especially the case with sudden weight gain. Increased pressure on the ligaments can lead to plantar fasciitis. Long-distance runners have a high risk of getting plantar fasciitis. People who have active jobs that require being on their feet for hours are also likely to develop plantar fascia problems.
The main symptom of plantar fasciitis is heel pain. The pain may be at the bottom part of the heel or in the mid-foot area. In most cases, the pain will affect one foot, but it can also affect both feet in some patients. Some people experience sharp or dull pain, while others get an ache or burning sensation. The ache starts at the bottom of the heel and extends outwards.
Most patients experience the worst pain in the morning as soon as they wake up. The pain can also come on after you have been sitting for a while. The condition makes it difficult to climb stairs as the heel becomes stiff.
Prolonged or intense activity can cause the pain to flare up because of increased inflammation or irritation. Most people who suffer from plantar fasciitis do not normally feel pain during their activities. The pain comes on just after they stop.
People who have structural foot conditions like flat feet or very high arches can easily develop plantar fasciitis. Having very tight Achilles tendons can also cause plantar fascia pain. These are the tendons that attach the calf muscles to the heels. The condition can also be caused by wearing shoes that have poor arch support and soft soles.
A physical exam will be performed to check for tenderness in the foot. Finding the exact location of the foot pain will help in diagnosis. During the evaluation, the patient will be asked to flex the foot while pushing on the plantar fascia.
This is done to determine if the pain worsens when the foot is flexed and gets better when the toe is pointed. The doctor will look for signs of mild swelling or redness while also evaluating the strength of the muscles.
Home treatments such as icing and resting the foot can reduce pain. Physical therapy is an effective way to treat the condition. A chiropractor can treat the condition using exercises that help stretch the plantar fascia and the Achilles tendons. The therapy also helps strengthen the leg muscles.
To know more about plantar fasciitis, visit Westchase Wellness Chiropractic Center at our office in Houston, Texas. You can also call (281) 462-5881 to schedule an appointment.