Have you ever though about how many steps you take in a day? Most likely this number is in the thousands. With each step, the load of the body weight to be applied to the arch causing the arch to drop. This drop in the arch makes the ball of the foot and the heal want to spread further apart. The fascia in the foot goes into tension to resist this force. If this tension in the fascia is greater than the fascia can handle, the fascia is damaged and the area will become inflamed.
Plantar fasciitis is a form of repetitive stress injury. In a healthy foot, the foot is able to repair itself at a greater rate than the damage it absorbs. As long as the amount of damage is lower than the body's ability to heal itself, the foot will remain healthy. The foot pain you feel when you get up in the morning exists because you caused more damage yesterday than your body could heal last night as your slept.
If you currently are suffering from heel pain, one of the first things you should try is to make sure to wear your shoes around the house in the evening and in the morning. The insole in your shoes will help to support the arch of your foot and may help the ligaments to heal on their own. If you walk around barefoot or with just socks on, your arch has to support all your weight by it's self.
As plantar fasciitis progresses:
The heel pain gradually gets worse.
You may change the way you walk to relieve the pain. This eventually may lead to more discomfort and pain and other problems with your foot, leg, hip, or back. Daily activities or sports may become even more limited.
You eventually may have pain with any weight-bearing activity. Running and jumping may no longer be possible.
A heel spur may form as a result of continued stress as the plantar fascia pulls on the heel bone. (By itself, a heel spur does not cause plantar fasciitis and does not usually cause problems. And, you can have plantar fasciitis and not have a heel spur.)
If the condition is not treated, plantar fasciitis can cause constant heel pain when you stand or walk.
Treatment of plantar fasciitis must begin with determining if the condition is primary or secondary plantar fasciitis. Primary plantar fasciitis makes up at least 90% of all cases of planar fasciitis. There are four main types of treatment options:
Extracorporeal Shockwave therapy
Fortunately for heel pain sufferers, the human body has an amazing ability to heal itself. In order for this to happen with plantar fasciitis, the amount of damage that is caused by loading throughout the day must be reduced so that the body can heal itself. Plantar fasciitis persists as long as the amount of damage incurred during the day exceeds the ability of the body to heal itself.
If you think you might have plantar fasciitis, call your doctor. The earlier a doctor diagnoses and treats your problem, the sooner you will have relief from pain. If nonsurgical treatments for plantar fasciitis do not relieve your heel pain, you may need to try other treatments. These may include corticosteroid shots, custom shoe inserts, or a walking cast if you have not already tried one. Formal physical therapy instruction can help to ensure proper stretching of the Achilles tendon and plantar fascia ligament. Doctors usually consider surgery only for severe, persistent cases.
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