Plantar fasciitis is the most common cause of heel pain that occurs due to inflammation of the fascia and causes severe and agonizing pain in the soles of the foot, near the heel.
Symptoms of plantar fasciitis
Plantar fasciitis appears as piercing, agonizing and severe pain in the inner part of the soles near the heel. This pain is more severe in the morning after waking up and decreases with a little walk and again the pain intensifies after prolonged standing. The heel of the foot is painful and sensitive to the touch. The heels pain, if left untreated, will cause limping and affect normal walking. This disorder causes extraordinary pressure on the knee, hip and waist that can cause pain in these areas.
Causes and risk factors of plantar fasciitis
Plantar fasciitis is a thick, firm tissue that grows from the heel bone and moves towards the toes. This thick tissue can be seen as a bow that supports the arch of the foot. Whenever the pressure on plantar fasciitis is high, it gradually causes small ruptures in it, that if continued, can cause continued inflammation and pain. Factors that increase the risk of growing plantar fasciitis are:
- Age: plantar fasciitis occur mostly between those who are between 40 and 60 years.
2- Specific types of exercise: such as running long distances, ballet, etc. that put a lot of pressure on the heel and the tissues around it.
2- Mechanical foot problems: such as flat foot, high arch and even a false gait pattern.
5- Occupations that require standing or walking for a long time: such as factory workers, teachers, and so on.
Diagnosis of plantar fasciitis
The diagnosis is done by a clinical examination and gaining patient’s medical history, but sometimes physicians use simple x-rays, MRIs, and blood tests to rule out other causes that can possibly produce similar symptoms. It should be noted that the presence of a heel spur is not related to the symptoms of the disease, and it is not appropriate to use the term plantar fasciitis for this kind of disease. However, since the term is prevalent, we also use it in our writing.
Plantar fasciitis treatment methods
1- Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as diclofenac and naproxen
3- Night Splints
5- Corticosteroid injection in the heel: repeating this method is not recommended because it can tear the fascia of the soles or destroy the heel fat.
6- Shock Wave Therapy: One of the most effective treatments for planar fasciitis is shock wave therapy. This methods treats planar fasciitis within 3 sessions (rarely 5 sessions) without the use of medication.
7- Surgery: It is rarely done when not all other methods have succeed in treating it and the pain is severe.