What is plantar fasciitis?
Plantar fascia is a weblike, thick ligaments that connect heel to the front of the foot. These ligaments are designed to act as a shock absorber and support the heels of the foot, to ease in walking.
Plantar fascia ligaments have to experience a lot of wear and tear in carrying out day to day activities. The excessive pressure may cause damage and tear in the ligaments. Plantar fasciitis is inflammation of the ligaments caused due to this injury, that may lead to pain and difficulty in walking. Plantar fasciitis is one of the most common cause of heel pain.
Plantar fasciitis causes a stabbing pain in the heels, especially when the person puts his feet on the floor, early in the morning. Once the person starts moving, the pain usually decreases gradually. However, pain may return if the person keeps standing for long periods, or gets up after sitting for a long time.
This condition is more common in people who are overweight, who do not wear correct size shoes and the runners.
In most of the cases, the exact reason of plantar fasciitis remains unclear. People between the ages of 40 and 70 are more at risk for developing this condition, but it has been seen slightly to be more common in women than men. During pregnancy, the chances increase due to excess weight, especially in the later months.
People who are overweight or obese are at greater risk for developing plantar fasciitis, due to excessive pressure on the ligaments, especially when a person gains weight in very short interval of time.
Long distance runners and people who have the job that requires standing for long periods of time can also develop this condition.
People having structural food problems, like very high arches and very flat feet are also likely to develop plantar fasciitis. Tightness in Achilles’ tendons, that attach calf muscles to the heels can also result in pain of plantar fascia.
Ill fitting shoes, and the ones with soft soles and poor arch may also cause plantar fasciitis.
Sign and symptoms
The primary symptom of plantar fasciitis is stabbing pain in the heels, that mostly affects one foot at a time, though can happen in both the feet. The pain usually develops gradually over time, which may be dull or sharp.
The pain usually aggravates in the morning, when the person puts his foot first on the ground. After walking, pain usually subsides by continuous motion, but may again come back, if the person keeps standing for longer time periods, or gets up after sitting for long. Climbing of stairs could be very painful for a plant fasciitis patient.
It has been observed that the pain of plantar fasciitis aggravates after performing any strenuous activity, involving foot, and not while doing it.
Plantar fasciitis does not cause any complications as such, but it can lead to a chronic heel pain, that might make it difficult to carry out daily activities.
The change in posture due to pain in the heels may lead to problems in other parts of the body, like in foot, knee, hip or back.
Plantar fasciitis can be diagnosed by doctor by simply taking the medical history of the patient, along with physical examination to check the areas of inflammation and tenderness in the heels.
To eliminate the possibility of any other medical conditions, doctor may suggest to go for imaging tests like X-rays and MRI.
Homeopathic medicines are very useful in decreasing the symptoms of plantar fasciitis. The medication can be continued along with management of the other causative factors, like being overweight and wearing wrong shoes.
Homeopathic medicines can effectively reduce the inflammation in the ligaments and provide permanent relief of symptoms in the cases of plantar fasciitis.