What is Plantar Fasciitis?
Plantar fasciitis is a painful condition affecting the bottom of the foot. The plantar fascia ligament is a structure that runs from the front of the heel bone to the ball of the foot. This dense strip of tissue helps support the arches of the foot. This ligament bears a tremendous amount of concentrated force when we stand and when we walk. This can cause the ligament to over stretch. Tears in the fascia can result.
How Common is It?
People with heel pain receive many different diagnoses, but the most common cause is plantar fasciitis. Approximately 10% of Americans experience bouts of heel pain, resulting in about 1 million visits per year to doctors for treatment of plantar fasciitis. The annual cost of plantar fasciitis treatment for an individual is estimated between $192 and $376 million dollars. While many factors play into plantar fasciitis and it is possible for the condition to occur traumatically, most cases are from overuse stresses.
What are the Symptoms of Plantar Fasciitis?
- Pain and stiffness in the bottom of the heel, but some may experience pain at the bottom mid-foot area
- It usually affects just one foot, but for some it can affect both feet.
- Some sufferers describe the pain of plantar fasciitis as being dull, while some describe a sharp pain. Some feel a burning or an ache on the bottom of the foot that extends outward from the heel.
- Usually it is most painful when you take your first steps in the morning and after sitting for long periods of time.
- After longer periods of activity, the pain can flare up (due to inflammation). The pain isn’t typically felt during the period of activity but instead just after stopping the activity.
Who Usually Gets Plantar Fasciitis?
- You have at a higher risk of developing plantar fasciitis if you are obese or overweight because of the increased pressure on your plantar fascia ligaments. This chance increases even more so when you have a sudden weight gain.
- Pregnant women often experience periods of plantar fasciitis during the 3rd trimester of pregnancy.
- Long-distance runners may have a greater chance to develop problems from plantar fasciitis.
- Individuals with a very active job that requires being on your feet often such as: nurses, factory workers, and servers.
- Active individuals between 40 and 70 are at the highest risk for plantar fasciitis, and it is statistically slightly more common in women than it is in men.
- People with other foot problems like very high arches or very flat feet and people with tight Achilles tendons.
How to Treat Plantar Fasciitis
- Get Off of Your Feet: Home treatment begins with staying off of your feet. You can try to reduce the swelling by changing your activities that require you to be on your feet.
- Put Some Ice on it: Also you can reduce swelling by applying ice three or four times a day for 15-20 minutes each time.
- Stretch: You can relieve some of the pain by performing stretching exercises (see link in resources).
- Take an Anti-inflammatory: Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS), such as ibuprofen (Motrin or Advil) and naproxen (Aleve) often help to reduce inflammation in the ligament.
- Steroid shots- Steriod injections into the ligament area can provide temporary pain relief, but multiple injections are not recommended because they can weaken the ligament and may lead to a rupture.
- Extracorporeal shock wave therapy – In this therapy, sound waves are aimed at the heel pain area area. This treatment is often used for patients with chronic plantar fasciitis that has not responded to other conservative treatments. It can result in bruises, pain, swelling, numbness, tingling and other discomforts. It also has not been proven effective.
- Surgery- This should be a last resort treatment because few people actually NEED surgery to detach the plantar fascia from the heel bone. This treatment becomes an option when heel pain is severe and nothing else works.
Natural Foot Care’s Alternative Approach
Many of the above are temporary treatments of the symptoms. To address the problem itself without seeking surgical and other costly treatments, we recommend the use custom-fitted arch support inserts (orthotics) to balance your foot, to give support to your ligament, and to transfer the pressure off of your ligament which reduces swelling and allows it to heal…and allows YOU to experience pain relief. We spend approximately 1 ½ hours with each person and perform a full biomechanical assessment to determine the precise correction you need. . Our products support all four arches in each foot instead of just one or two. Our products fit in all shoe types (even sandals) and are guaranteed for 5 years. You get three to four pairs of orthotics (not just one) to accommodate all of your shoe types (even sandals). You leave with them the same day of your appointment—not just one pair.
Other Issues Associated with Plantar Fasciitis:
If you ignore your plantar fasciitis, you can develop chronic heel that can change the way you walk and subsequently cause other pains for your: legs, knees, hips, and back.
Repeated steroid injections and similar other treatments can result in a weakened plantar fascia ligament and then cause a potential rupture of the ligament.
Surgery always carries the risks of infection and bleeding (as well as time missed at work).
Natural Foot Care Testimonials:
My pain is gone. I don’t have plantar fasciitis anymore! – Nancy Trexler, Lewisville, NC
Natural Foot Care got rid of my plantar fasciitis! My feet don’t hurt anymore! – Jeff Efflandt, Greensboro, NC
My heel pain from plantar fasciitis is decreasing and so is my back pain! – Ron Seamon, Mocksville, NC
I played basketball for the first time since I saw Sherry. I actually played pain free! No foot, knee, or back pain. My plantar fasciitis is much better! My balance is great. Now I can start working out to trim down! – Kenell Caesar, Winston-Salem, NC
My plantar fasciitis is gone! I would not be walking today if it was not for Natural Foot Care! – Selinda Moxley, Booneville, NC
Prior to seeing Sherry, I had dealt with foot pain, heel spurs, plantar fasciitis, problems with my ankles, bunions, hip pain, back pain, neuropathy, neuromas, and poor balance. In less than one month after seeing Sherry, my symptoms have vastly improved! I had calluses and rough dry places on my heels. They are almost completely gone! I am doing great! I love the orthotics and the difference they have made for me!