Who is at risk for Plantar Fasciitis And How Is It Best Treated?

Plantar Fasciitis Picture - LocateADoc.comPlantar Fasciitis or Jogger’s heel is a common enthesopathy or disorder of the bony attachments at the heel. It is a common disorder which is characterized by pain, inflammation and weakening of the plantar fascia. It can be caused by age, weight, increased physical activity and repetitive strain injuries. This condition is common among middle-aged individuals, but may also strike younger ones. It may affect either feet or both. Athletes and soldiers are at high-risk because they exert constant pressures on their feet with their activities.
 

What are the risk factors?

  • Standing for long periods on hard surfaces
  • Overweight
  • Wearing the wrong size of shoes
  • Wearing worn out shoes
  • Having tight calf muscles
 

What are the treatment options?

 

Extracorporeal shockwave therapy (ESWT)

It is the treatment for a case of plantar fasciitis that is painful and does not respond to non-surgical procedures for at least 3 consecutive months. ESWT has been proven effective and studies reveal that patients who received this type of treatment experienced considerable relief lasting for a longer period time. Anesthesia may be given; however, studies have shown that it is more effective without it. 
 

Corticosteroid injections

These are usually given if the plantar fasciitis is obstinate to conventional measures. It may also be given to relieve pain although some risk should be noted like atrophy, skin infection and muscle injury.
 

Iontophoresis

This technique involves the application of anti-inflammatory substances on the surface of the foot and diffusing these substances into the affected area using electrical current. 
 

Night splints

There are evidences that using night splints consecutively for 1 to 3 months can relieve pain from plantar fasciitis. This is because night splints keep the ankle in a neutral position.
 

Resting your feet

Giving your feet sufficient rest can help prevent this plantar fasciitis pain. Avoid long standing periods on hard surfaces and reduce activities that put sustained pressure on your feet. Foot massage may help ease the pain.
 

Put ice on your feet.

Applying ice packs on your soles can help reduce swelling and pain.
 

Lose weight

If you are overweight, you are at an increased vulnerability to developing plantar fasciitis. This is because the excess weight puts more strain on your heels. However, losing weight is advised; anorexia and bulimia are strongly discouraged. 
 

Pick the right pair of shoes

Wear shoes with correct arch support and cushioned soles. Do not wear shoes that are too tight. And if the shoes are already worn out, make the effort to get another pair.
 
 
By Nevit Dilmen (Own work) [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC-BY-SA-3.0-2.5-2.0-1.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

 

 

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