Understanding The Cause
The human feet are made up of structures like bones, muscles, and ligaments. They support the body weight and flex during a walk. The ligaments are crucial for taking steps or climbing stairs. Their strength is vital for other activities like running, jumping, and standing. Plantar fasciitis refers to inflamed or damaged ligaments that are most vital for movements. The elastic and fibrous plantar fascia ligaments are located along the sole of the foot. They stretch outwards across the heel’s arch and towards the toes for bounce and sprint.
The heel’s ligament and supporting tissue tears and gets damaged causing pain. This leads to inflammation and spurs or calcium deposits on the heel bone. The bony protrusions press against the fatty part of the heel during each step. These symptoms are noticed by patients-
- Heel aches that may be sudden, gradual, or intermittent during daily activities.
- Sharp and burning feeling in the feet soles around the central area of the heels.
- There is foot pain after prolonged periods of sitting, or while getting out of bed.
- The symptom may last for few days or prolong for months or years causing a limp.
- Usually affects only one foot, but inflammation in both the feet is also possible.
- The patient can notice the redness, swelling, or heat under the soles and heels.
- Adults lose elasticity and soft tissue due to the normal ageing process.
The painful and inflammatory foot and heel disorder has the following characteristics –
- Both children and adults are at risk, and there is no specific age limit.
- Sportspersons, athletes, and physically active individuals can develop this condition.
- Those who have Achilles tendon, high arches, feet tightness and flatness.
- Obesity patients and those who work long hours without adequate rest or sleep.
- Construction and industry workers who have to lift heavy objects or bulky loads.
- Worn out shoes and ill-fitting footwear are also responsible for heel and sole pain.
- Falling on the soles or heels from a height, car accidents, and other trauma.
- Pronation is a condition in which ligaments fail to transfer weight to the bone during a walk.
Children normally experience temporary pain in the heel and they cure naturally. Plantar fasciitis does not subside easily in adults and may lead to complications. There are different ways of handling the problem –
- The feet have to be rested and daily habits have to be altered for some relief.
- Ice packs have to be directly applied, two times a day, for 20 minutes to numb the pain.
- The cold bags are also effective in lowering redness, swelling or inflammation.
- Orthotic footwear and accessories such as splints, wraps, and shoe inserts are used.
- Doctors prescribe medicines, injections, and surgery for moderate or extreme cases.
The painful condition known as plantar fasciitis affects the heel and soles of feet. Patients notice ligament swelling and feel pain during movements. The risk factors are ageing, obesity, poor foot structure or functioning, and physical exertion. Non-medical treatments include ice packs, rest, and specialised footwear items.