Plantar fasciitis knowledge. Introducing 5 major causes and sypmtoms of plantar fasciitis, and how to prevent plantar fasciitis. The treatment and therapy for plantar fasciitis, and getting pain relief of plantar fasciitis.

What is plantar fasciitis?

Plantar fasciitis is actually a degenerative foot disease. In daily life, the soles of the feet bear the weight of the whole body and providing good support to the human body. The sole of the foot is made up of many bones. The tendons and ligaments that cover the outer layer as well as the plantar fascia on the sole of the foot strengthen the bones.

The location of pain of plantar fasciitis
The location of pain of plantar fasciitis

The plantar fascia is a network of connective tissue that extends from the heel to the five toes. In addition to the support function, it can also absorb the reaction force from the ground during exercise. However, these movement rely on muscles, tendons, and ligaments.

Every day, the plantar fascia will have small lacerations due to human movement, but the nutrients in the blood can repair the wounds in time to maintain the health of the plantar fascia.

5 major causes of plantar fasciitis

If the muscles, tendons, and ligaments are overloaded due to old age, degeneration, excessive exercise, etc., the plantar fascia must bear the excess impact force, and even the plantar fascia becomes fibrotic, and blood is not easy to enter. It will appear plantar fasciitis symptoms after a long time.

As for why the pain points are mostly in the heels? The reason is that about 60% of the body’s weight falls on the heel, which is also the most vulnerable place to damage the plantar fascia.

The cause of plantar fasciitis is excessive wear of the plantar fascia. Therefore, any factors that aggravate this situation are risk factors for plantar fasciitis:

Degeneration factors

As you get older, your foot muscles, ligaments and tendons gradually degenerate, which will increase the load on the plantar fascia. Therefore, plantar fasciitis often occurs after the age of 40.

Excessive weight bearing on the foot

When the foot bears too much weight, it will increase the risk of disease. Therefore, people who have to carry heavy objects for a long time are more likely to develop plantar fasciitis.
In addition, the feet of obese people will also bear too much weight, and obesity is often accompanied by insufficient exercise. When the muscle strength of the feet is insufficient, it will increase the burden on the plantar fascia and cause plantar fasciitis.

Overexercise

Excessive exercise causes the muscles to be overwhelmed, which in turn causes excessive stretching of the plantar fascia, and even small lacerations, as well as plantar fasciitis.

Wearing unfit shoes

Shoes can provide support for the feet. However, long-term wearing shoes that are not suitable(such as high heels of more than 5 cm, or wearing flat shoes) may increase the burden on the foot and may produce plantar fascia over time.

Standing or walking on uneven roads for a long time

These two conditions will also increase the burden on the foot. In terms of long-term standing, teachers, military personnel, department store counter personnel, hairdressers and other occupations have a higher risk of plantar fasciitis due to the long-term standing during the work process.
As for uneven roads, the typical case is the health trails in parks. Some people think that “the more you step on, the more painful” you can achieve health benefits. In fact, health trails have a time limit. Please pay attention to relevant instructions before walking. Excessive abrasion of the plantar fascia will result in plantar fasciitis.

Congenital structural abnormalities

If there are congenital foot structural abnormalities such as flat feet (or pes planus), pes cavus, overpronation, leg-length discrepancy, etc., it will increase the burden of plantar fascia in the long run. Patients are also more likely to suffer from plantar fasciitis.

Bone spurs can cause plantar fasciitis?

Not necessarily.
Although bone spurs are widely spread to cause pain, in fact, bone spurs are a kind of bone hyperplasia. When a certain part is exercised or stressed, the bones of that part will thicken. From the X-ray picture, it is like The bones grow out of other objects, and as long as the bone spurs do not compress the nerves, there will be no symptoms of discomfort.

Most people who do not have plantar fasciitis will also have plantar bone spurs, so bone spurs are not directly related to plantar fasciitis.

Plantar fasciitis symptoms

Heel pain is a typical symptom of plantar fasciitis. Clinically, pain can be subdivided into the following categories:

  • Pain after pressing on the heel
  • Pain in the heel when getting up in the morning and touch the ground with your foot, which can relieve after walking
  • After standing and walking for a long time, heel pain occurs
  • When the toe of the foot is pulled back, the heel is painful
Symptoms of plantar fasciitis
Symptoms of plantar fasciitis

Prevention of plantar fasciitis

The key to preventing plantar fasciitis is to reduce the burden on the foot and relieve the plantar fascia. The specific methods are as follows:

  • Choose suitable shoes and insoles, which must completely cover the feet
  • People with congenital structural abnormalities can wear corrective shoes after consulting a doctor
  • Reduce long time standing or walking, such as marathon, mountain climbing
  • Reduce high-impact sports such as volleyball and basketball
  • Avoid lifting heavy objects
  • Warm up properly before exercise
  • Avoid excessive exercise, apply ice to the heel after exercise
  • Weight control
The prevention of plantar fasciitis
The prevention of plantar fasciitis

Best treatment for plantar fasciitis and pain relief

The following are exercises for preventing and relieving plantar fasciitis. You can choose suitable items according to your own situation.

Tiptoe exercise

When exercising, hold a stable support (such as a desk) with both hands, stand on tiptoes for about 2 to 3 seconds, relax, repeat 10 to 15 times, and train three times a day. This move can increase calf muscle strength and relieve fasciitis symptoms of the soles of the feet.

Towel grip exercise

Sit on a chair, put a towel under your feet, use your heel as a fulcrum, bend the sole of your foot to apply force keeping the heel fixed, use the sole muscles to pull the towel towards the heel, and then relax after 15 seconds. Repeat 10 to 15 times, training three times a day, can increase the muscle strength of the soles of the feet.

Ankle exercise

Sit on the ground or bed with your back against the wall, feet straight and knees straight. When training, first bend the instep toward the body, and then press the toes forward, repeat 10 to 15 times, training three times a day, which can increase the blood circulation of the foot and strengthen the self-repairing ability.

Back calf muscle training

Find a sturdy wall, push the wall forward with both hands, straighten your elbows with your upper body, make a bow and arrow in your lower body, straighten your hind foot (must be the painful foot), and feel tightness in your hind calf It can stretch the calf muscles, increase softness and extensibility, and help the plantar fascia to disperse the weight of the body.

Plantar fascia stretching exercise

Sit down and bend your knees with the soles of your feet close to the ground. Grasp the five toes and pull the toes back. Relax after about 2 to 3 seconds. Repeat 10 to 15 times. Training three times a day can increase the softness of the plantar fascia.

Plantar fascia massage

If you feel uncomfortable, you can also relieve symptoms through self-massage. Press with your thumb during massage, and massage the plantar fascia in a horizontal and vertical manner for about 5 minutes. The force should not be too strong. In addition, you can also massage the plantar fascia by stepping on rolling objects such as golf balls and round clubs for about 5 minutes.

Plantar fasciitis exercises therapy
Plantar fasciitis exercises therapy

Diagnosis of plantar fasciitis

When a patient has pain in the soles of the feet, the doctor will use palpation in order to diagnose plantar fasciitis to confirm whether the pain point is on the heel or the inner edge of the heel.

Further examination methods are ultrasound and X-ray examination. Ultrasound can show the condition of the plantar fascia. If there are signs of plantar fasciitis, the plantar fascia will be thickened. X-ray can observe the bone structure of the foot , to confirm whether the pain comes from bone or joint factors to diagnose plantar fasciitis.

Plantar fasciitis therapy

In terms of treatment, the easiest way is to ask the patient to rest, observe the situation, and perform the above exercise therapy. In addition, the following treatment methods may also be used:

Medical treatement

Drugs can relieve the discomfort of plantar fasciitis. The common drugs are oral non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAID) or oral corticosteroids.

Physiotherapy

The purpose of physical therapy is to stimulate nerve endings through electric current (electrotherapy), ultrashort wave, etc., to expand blood vessels, improve blood circulation in the affected area, and achieve the purpose of anti-inflammatory and pain relief.

Including exercise therapy, the above treatment methods can be collectively referred to as “conservative therapy”. Most patients can get rid of the entanglement of plantar fasciitis. A small number of people who cannot improve their symptoms may use the following therapies.

Drug injection

Short-term injections of drugs such as sebinosteroids, botulinum, autologous plasma preparations can improve the discomfort of the affected area. Autologous plasma preparations even have the function of regenerating the affected tissues. The doctor will choose the appropriate injection drugs according to the situation. Patients should discuss with the doctor before proceeding with treatment.

Surgical treatment

Plantar fasciitis surgery is mainly based on “endoscopic plantar fasciectomy”. The doctor will make a small wound on the patient’s foot and cut the fascia to relax it.

Bone shock wave treatment

This is a treatment that uses extracorporeal shock waves to stimulate the regeneration of blood vessels in the affected area and activate the blood flow in the affected area. It must be performed for a long time (about three months or more) to be effective.

Do all kinds of foot maintenance work at ordinary times. If you have pain symptoms, you should also seek medical treatment immediately. Don’t let plantar fasciitis hinder your ability to move.

Compression socks for plantar fasciitis

Many types of plantar fasciitis treatments involve the use of corrective devices that reduce the pressure on the plantar fascia, thereby allowing the foot to heal. These equipment include special insoles and shoes that support the arch of the foot. At night, use orthopedic splints and similar devices to keep your feet bent during sleep.

An effective way to help stretch the tendons and relieve pain is to use compression plantar fasciitis socks. The socks can be put on the foot and extend to the calf and help support the arch of the foot. At the toe of the sock is a slender stretchable belt that can be fixed to the ring at the end of the sock’s calf. By passing the belt through the loop and tightening it firmly, the foot can be firmly fixed at a 90-degree angle to the calf. In this way, compression plantar fasciitis socks also help stretch the calf muscles and heel tendon.

The main benefit of compression plantar fasciitis socks is that if the socks are worn overnight, the feet will remain flexed. This helps reduce the foot pain that you feel when you wake up. In addition, when socks are used regularly for a few months, they can improve the flexibility of the calf muscles, thereby reducing the severity of the overall condition.

Orthopedic devices such as compression plantar fasciitis socks are not suitable for anyone with this heel condition. People with diabetes or diseases that affect the circulatory system, pregnant women, and people with certain other foot problems may cause health complications if they use orthopedic socks. These people should consult a doctor before using orthopedic socks to treat plantar fasciitis.