Plantar fascistic is a term used to define an inflammation of one’s plantar fascia. The plantar fascia is a ligament, and a ligament is a fibrous connective tissue that connects two bones. This ligament is the reason why we can walk with ease and smoothly. The plantar fascia connects our toe bones and heel bones. When this ligament gets in bad condition due to several reasons, especially tears and stress that cannot go on, your body will immune response to this, which causes inflammation. And this inflammation is known as Plantar fascistic.
It is not a severe condition and can happen to anyone. Upon taking the right measurements, it can heal well. Plantar Fascia is an essential part of our foot that supports the foot arch whenever we take a step. Without its help, we wouldn’t be able to walk correctly or even not walk at all. That’s why taking care of it is the first and sole thing when inflammation occurs.
Causes of Plantar Fasciitis
Plantar Fasciitis happens due to simple and common causes. It mostly happens with those who do high-impact sports like jumping, ballerina, dancing, etc. However, these simple things can become severe if you leave them to develop over time. Timely treatment is definitely essential.
Overuse of the Feet: Extreme pressure on feet and strenuous activities that require walking, running, jumping, etc, put your heel bone in a lousy shape. And if it repeats and impacts a lot on your feet so that even a simple step pains you, then it’s bad news. Overusing your feet and straining them will leave your plantar fascia with multiple small tears. And your immune system will react to it to save your feet. Inflammation is the way your body sends you a signal that this part of your body is sick and needs attention.
Overpronation: Overpronation is when one’s ankle goes too inward or downward while taking a step. And this condition results in a flat arch. Flat feet puts extra pressure on one’s plantar fascia, which leads to overstretching. And it causes inflammation.
Weight gain: When one gains too much weight suddenly, he/she will have more pressure on their feet than before. Gradually increasing weight give enough time for your feet to adapt. However, sudden weight gain will suddenly stress your feet out that will have the same result as overuse.
Wrong shoes: If you wear a shoe with poor arch support, it will have a reverse effect on your feet. If the arch is too high, your arch won’t get adequate space to stretch with each step. And if the arch is too low, you will have to struggle with each step. You would spend more time for your feet to touch the shoe sole. With either scenario, your plantar fascia is bound to face the strain.
Tight Calf muscles: Tight calf muscles hinder your proper walking. These muscles are connected to your heel bone, and the heel bone is where your Plantar fascia is connected. In short, these muscles and the ligament are connected roundabout. If the calf muscles are tight and you have trouble stretching while walking, it will lead your heel bone to go upward than before. And thus, your fascia ligament will have to overstretch to balance out. As we said, overstretching will also lead to inflammation.
Old age: People’s skin, bones, ligaments, tissue, etc, begin losing their strength and lose flexibility when they age. It means the ligament on your feet also loses its flexibility and resulting in drooping. This makes your ligament prone to injury.
Symptoms of Plantar Fasciitis
Pain (Stiffness and swelling)
The first thing you will experience due to inflammation is pain. You will feel sharp or dull pain on your heel and the bottom of your feet. The pain can spread to your toes and can increase the intensity. When you wake up in the morning and step out of your bed, standing on your feet will be painful and difficult. It happens because of stiffness. And stiffness happens from inactivity for a long time. Whether you wake up from a good nap or stand up after sitting for a while, it will pain you.
When we lie down, our body weight does not impact our feet. When we stand up, the weight suddenly stands on our feet which causes the fascia to stretch. And even a usual stretch on a torn or inflamed fascia would cause immense pain. The most common and first thing patients say is that they feel pain in the morning when they get out of bed. Then a simple walk of 10 minutes will reduce it. But then again, it will become worse when you walk more throughout your day.
The plantar fascia connects the heel and toe bones. When you try to move your toe fingers upward, notice that the pain increases. Moreover, you can’t stretch the finger fully like the ones on a healthy foot.
The pain will go back and forth and may increase after standing or walking for too long. If you don’t let your feet rest enough, the pain will only grow more, and eventually, alone walking will be painful. The inflammation will make your heel and bottom swell. Swelling, pain, and stiffness come hand in hand. They happen due to each other.
Normally our heels are hard when we touch them. However, during plantar fasciitis, they become tender and feel as if a bag of liquid/ air is there. It feels like this because of the swelling.
Change in gait
When this problem happens, you will notice that you can’t walk or move your feet quickly and easily like before, and your flexibility becomes limited. People around you or your close ones may tell you that your walking gait is not like before and is stiffer. In fact, in severe cases, you may start limping because standing on your feet becomes unbearable with the pain it brings.
In short, when plantar fasciitis happens, the tissues of the ligament go through a small tear in most cases. And these small tears are primarily on the bottom side of your feet that touch the ground. Whenever you try to walk, run, put weight on it, or move your feet freely, it is bound to stretch. Because that’s the purpose of it, and that stretch causes these symptoms to appear.
Treatment of Plantar Fasciitis
Resting: This condition requires you to rest more and avoid straining activities that stress your feet. Plantar Fasciitis develops more when you don’t let your feet rest, and the ligament faces more tears. They won’t have time to heal if they have to stretch to help you put a strain on your feet. This phase varies from patient to patient. If your Plantar fasciitis is on the primary, your resting means you can walk, do minimal walking, and rest in between from time to time so that the inflammation does not escalate. But in severe cases, your doctor may common you complete bed rest and not walk for a period they tell you. Or they will tell you to avoid doing the task that pains you exceptionally wholly.
Message and exercises: Visit a physical therapist, who will introduce you to some messages, especially for the arch and bottom, to alleviate pain. Consider doing these messages and exercises for improved healing.
Ice application: Apply ice packs on the areas you feel pain a few times a day and for 10-20 minutes each time. Ice helps relieve pain.
Pain relief NSAIDs/ OTCs: Take pain relief medicines that your doctor prescribes to reduce the pain as well as the swelling.
Stretching: Stretch regularly, especially your calf muscles, toes, and feet, to reduce the stiffness and tension on the ligament.
Supports: Poor arch support; pain in the heel and bottom of the feet increases pain. Most doctors will suggest support for better healing depending on the severity. Insoles, heel strapping, orthotics, night splints, etc, to help alleviate pain. They will help improve your arch support, putting less pressure on your Plantar Fascia.
Injections: Depending on your foot’s radiology condition, your doctor may suggest injecting. They will inject the prescribed one on the insertion point on the bottom of your heel/feet, where the ligament is more prone to tears.
Surgery: In severe cases of Plantar Fasciitis, surgery is the only solution to escape the pain and discomfort.
How to cure plantar fasciitis in one week?
It will take more than a week for a Plantar Fascia to heal entirely and work like before. This chronic condition, where small tears on the ligament cause inflammation, may take weeks or months to regain its former tip-top shape. However, one week is enough to reduce pain and swelling and let you walk or run around comfortably. We know this condition is excruciating, and one loses the proper mobility to let it heal.
If you follow the treatment diligently and work more on healing for a week, the pain and swelling will decrease noticeably. You will be able to walk and do work freely without feeling painful stabs every time you take a step.