Is Surgery recommended for plantar fasciitis?

Surgery may be advised recommended for some patients. However, you must remember that it is not the be-all or end-all for the condition, especially since there are effective nonsurgical methods available. Perhaps, around 95% of plantar fasciitis patients can choose pain relief sans the surgery. You must consider a surgical procedure for plantar fasciitis only if:

  • Conventional non-surgical treatment options do not work
  • Other treatment options you have been trying for at least six months haven’t paid off
  • Your potential to carry out your work and moderate exercise are getting affected due to heel pain

What are the types of plantar fasciitis?

There are two different types of plantar fasciitis, namely acute and chronic.

Acute Plantar Fasciitis: When this condition is triggered by a particular injury, it is called acute plantar fasciitis.

Chronic Plantar Fasciitis: This is a classic case of plantar fasciitis that is more likely to become worse over time.

How can someone prevent plantar fasciitis?

Plantar fasciitis may be a runner's worst nightmare. It’s a notoriously stubborn condition that will strike an individual as the thick band of fibers, which runs along the lower part of the foot, becomes inflamed. It usually starts as a minor irritation; however will advance and be converted into a sidelining injury, mainly if it isn't treated promptly or accurately. Whether or not you've got recovered from the condition recently or haven't had it, it's critical to follow some steps to stop future injury, particularly if you're at risk.

Visit a store for shoes that support the arches of your feet and supply enough cushion for your heel. Exercises to strengthen the legs and ankles, and plantar fascia and Achilles’ tendon specific stretches can help prevent the condition. Also, make sure to use heat massages properly and avoid increasing the active levels too quickly. For runners, it's suggested not to increase mileage by over ten percent per week.

Does plantar fasciitis ever go away?

Plantar fasciitis is an intense inflammation of the foot that occurs in almost 10% of the total population. One in ten people is found to experience plantar fasciitis, especially if you are of the age of 40 to 70. If left untreated, this condition can stick around for a very long time or can never go away.

However, the good news is that plantar fasciitis can actually go away completely with proper treatment. Generally, you can get rid of the condition with non-invasive methods and treatments. There are several treatment options to relieve pain and avoid the recurrence of the condition. However, depending upon the severity, there are also cases that in which the individuals can never get rid of the condition completely. This may also be due to the anatomy, the foot treatment that they are following or improper physical activities.

However, in general, a vast majority of people suffering from plantar fasciitis can be cured completely.

What risk factors predispose me to develop plantar fasciitis?

Plantar fasciitis has some predispose factors. People who have high arches or sometimes flat feet, and also those who have tight calf muscles or ankles, who are athletes, do a lot of running or jogging possess a greater risk of developing the condition. In addition, if you weigh more than usual or generally obese, you tend to put more pressure on your plantar fascia, thereby, increasing the risk of developing plantar fasciitis.

Pregnant women are also prone to plantar fasciitis. If you are a long distance walker or runner, you are prone to develop this problem. You are at risk if you have a job that requires a lot of physical activity. Highly active men and women in the age between 40 and 70 are prone to be affected by plantar fasciitis. However, it is ironic to note that plantar fasciitis is more common in women than it is in men. If there is a sudden increase in the intensity of your physical workout, this can bring on a bout of the condition.

What does plantar fasciitis pain feel like?

When you have plantar fasciitis, you will always feel pain within the bottom of the heel or the arch of the foot. Some people describe the pain as feeling like a bruise or just a dull ache. The pain tends to vanish gradually once you start walking around or engage yourself in some physical activity. With continuing walking, the pain could come back, however sometimes; it would go away once you get enough rest.

If the swollen plantar fascia has irritated a nerve within the foot, pain could radiate into the ankle joint from the middle of the arch. In the early stages of plantar fasciitis, the pain could get away quickly once you took the weight off of your foot. On the other hand, with the passage of time, it should take an extremely long time for the pain to go away completely. Without any treatment, the plantar fascia can eventually tear and get partly removed from the heel. The body fills the torn space with many calcium ions. This eventually becomes a bone and is termed a heel spur. This bone spur can also induce pain in the foot while walking or resting.

Why do I have pain in the middle of my foot?

Our middle part of the foot is formed by a pyramid-like arrangement of bones and muscles. Other than these, there are other bones, ligaments, tendons, Achilles, and many more to the foot. Traumatic impacts, sprains, injuries in the tiny bones (any one or all) that form your foot, can cause a prolonged pain in the middle of the foot. If you experience pain in the middle of the foot, it may be due to the following causes:

  • Plantar Fasciitis, which is caused by an inflamed, strained or torn plantar fascia ligament of the foot, will cause a sharp pain that radiates all over the foot.
  • Achilles’ Tendonitis, which is caused by repetitive physical training and activity, will produce pain and soreness in the feet.
  • Broken foot due to an injured foot with tiny cracks or fractures in the smaller bones of your foot and muscular spasms can also cause pain in the middle of your foot.
  • Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome in which the tunnel or the canal through which the tibia nerve runs will be inflamed can cause pain in the foot.
  • Different grades of ankle sprain or foot sprain can induce pain in the middle of the foot.

Why do I have pain in the arch of my foot?

Arch pain is a foot problem that many people face. It often affects the athletes, but strangely, it can also occur in people who do not do much of physical activity. There are many causes for your arch pain. Arch pain may be due to the injury in muscles or bones, ligaments or tendons, and sometimes even the nerve injuries can account for arch pain. The arch pain can also be due to the structural issues in the feet, which get aggravated by aging, gaining weight, some neurological conditions, and physical stresses.

Plantar fasciitis is the commonly reported cause of arch pain. Posterior tibial tendon dysfunction (PTTD) is an adult acquired flat foot, which is due to an injury in the tendon. This can also cause pain in the arch and calf muscles. Over-pronation is the unusual and unhealthy way of moving your foot that causes the stress on the foot and arch. In due course, over-pronation will injure the muscles and tendons, thereby causing pain in the arch. To overcome the pain in the arch of your foot, you can opt for wearing orthopedic inserts or braces that can relieve your pain.

How do I know if I have plantar fasciitis?

This condition has some typical symptoms keeping it easy for identification. The most common and significant complaint of the people suffering from plantar fasciitis is the pain at the bottom of their heel. However, some patients suffer from a pain in the mid-foot area. These types of pain gradually develop over a point of time, affecting just one of your feet. However, it can at times be seen in both the feet also.

Some people say that they experience a dull pain, while some others a sharp pain in the bottom of their foot. There may also be a burning or tingling pain that generates from the bottom of the foot that gradually extends to the exterior or the outer part of the heel. The pain is generally experienced in greater intensity in the morning as soon as you get up and walk a few steps out of your bed. Stair climbing becomes very difficult as the heel would have got very stiff. After a prolonged activity by the people, they experience a pain that flares up due to the severity of the inflammation.

What is plantar fasciitis?

It’s a condition that causes pain in the bottom of the heel. The plantar fascia is a web-like, thick ligament that connects your heel to the foot or front part of your foot. This ligament helps in supporting the arch of your feet, thereby enabling you to walk. Plantar fasciitis is the top-most orthopedic complaint that a doctor attends.

Your ligaments experience wear and tear as you age because you have been using the ligament from birth. Generally, these ligaments are shock absorbers and support the foot arch. If you had been pressurizing these ligaments by unhealthy practices of walking, these ligaments inflame, get stiff, thus causing pain at the heel or the arch of your foot. This condition is called plantar fasciitis.

Is it okay to walk with plantar fasciitis?

Yes, walking with plantar fasciitis is okay. Sitting around and not moving anywhere will never give you relief to plantar fasciitis. You can bike, swim or walk. If you can’t walk for a longer duration, say thirty minutes, it is okay to walk at least ten minutes. It is also okay to walk barefoot with plantar fasciitis. In fact, walking barefoot will also help you to keep your plantar fasciitis at bay (if at all you are not suffering from it already).

What is wrong when the bottom of your foot hurts?

Foot pain is generally widespread. If you have pain prolonging for over a week or more, then there are chances that you might be suffering from plantar fascia. Various factors like continuous stress can easily infiltrate to the foot, the weight of your body, wrong walking posture, etc.

The plantar fasciitis is an irritation or generally an inflammation in the band tissues of your foot connecting the toes and heels. If your foot hurts as soon as you get up or due to continuous walking, there are significant chances that you might be suffering from plantar fasciitis.

Fortunately, you can get solutions to get rid of this pain. Wear plantar fasciitis night splints, wear a right shoe with a proper sole and supporting cushion, or opt for an orthotic. Other than plantar fascia, you can also see other common reasons like bone injuries, muscular spasms, nerve problems or age-related ailments for your foot pain.

Can you pull a muscle in the foot?

The muscle from any part of the body can be pulled. However, a muscle pull is most common in feet, lower back, and neck. There may be different tendons, which upon overuse, causes pain by pulling a muscle. A muscle pull in the feet makes it very difficult to walk or mobilize without any spine braces.

How do I treat arch pain?

Arch pain can be treated in the home initially by doing some changes to your lifestyle. If it is chronic, then medication and other treatments are needed in addition to home remedies. When you first experience the pain, rest your foot and take a break from work that you do that could be stressing your foot. You may need to avoid exhausting activities for a few days or longer if the pain persists.

Apply ice in a bag and put it on top of  your foot for 10 to 15 minutes twice a day, until the pain gets reduced. The golf ball can be rolled using the foot to give relief to the arch. Stretching calves can also help in relieving the extreme pain and tightness of muscles in the arch. You can go for over-the-counter arch supports and supportive shoes to reduce the pain, and to prevent further injuries. Medication may also help reduce inflammation and pain. Avoid walking barefoot as it may aggravate the pain and make your condition worse.

What is the best exercise for plantar fasciitis?

The intense heel pain in the morning comes from the tightening of the plantar fascia that occurs during sleep. To make the ligaments more flexible and for strengthening the muscles in the arch, following stretching and strengthening exercises can be of great help:

  • You can stretch your foot, flex it up, and repeat this for about twenty times. Stretching exercises should create a pulling feeling without causing pain.
  • A toe stretch helps in stretching the plantar fascia. By sitting in the chair, keep the heel on the floor, reach down the toes with your hand, and pull it towards the ankle. Holding it for 15 to 20 seconds in this position and let it go.
  • Use a towel to stretch the bottom of your foot (towel stretch). You can alternatively keep a rolled towel under the feet balls and pull it up gently and hold in this position by keeping your knee straight. Then relax.
  • By sitting in the chair, roll the rolling pin or ball with the arch of your foot. If you can do it, keep doing this exercise in a standing position. All the above exercises can be repeated three to four times.
  • Calf stretch will stretch the muscles at the back of the lower leg. Doing this exercise for three to four times a day on alternate days of the week will help reduce the pain due to plantar fasciitis.
  • Stretching the plantar fascia will help reduce the foot pain. This exercise can be done as many times as possible.
  • Pushing and pulling the towel that is placed on the floor using the toes, being seated, can help in strengthening the muscles.
  • Picking up marbles from the floor and putting them in the cup near to the marbles using your toes can be helpful in stretching and strengthening the foot and the leg.

Is plantar fasciitis serious?

Yes, plantar fasciitis can become somewhat dangerous if it is chronic. Plantar fasciitis can be more stubborn and can prevent you from your tracks of daily routines, destabilize your fitness and general health, and haul on for years. Untreated plantar fasciitis can be more serious.

The hallmark of plantar fasciitis – the first steps are in the morning when your foot has significant shooting pain and makes you limp. The pain, which is concerted where the heel meets the arch of the foot, is the most painful in the morning because the ligaments stiffen and fluid accumulates at the inflamed area while you sleep. This persisting pain subsides after you walk around for a few minutes, but a dull ache continues as you continue your daily routine, especially after you have been sitting or standing for a long time and in many cases will affect your activities of the day.

As the initial pain is easy enough to be ignored because it eases out when the day progresses, it is not advisable to leave it not attended. If you leave it untreated, the symptoms can change, with the pain deepening and lasting beyond the morning. At this stage, the condition will transform from acute inflammation to a chronic issue. Wherein the scar tissue will block the healing process. It’s better to look into the issue at the initial stage of the pain than ignoring it until it gets chronic.

Is it right to massage plantar fasciitis?

It is good to have a foot rub which helps a little to heal the pain. However, massage therapy is one of the least effective of the standard treatments for plantar fasciitis. The center of the arch muscles feels good to massage, producing a small ache from a little pressure of the thumb at that point. When someone else does it for you, any massage will help feel better, and especially foot massage will lead the top of the various massage lists in this context.

When an experienced therapist gives you a foot massage, it is much better. Reflexology, which is nothing but neurological and energetic connections between each part of the sole and every other region, and the body, is another reason why we feel foot massage is not only useful for plantar fasciitis, but also all parts of the body.

Trigger point massage therapy is right as it can probably relieve some pain primarily and safely. Massage therapy aids in loosening tight muscles and encourages relaxation. Direct plantar fascia massages with little pressure directly applied to the source of pain will help reduce tension and induce relaxation which in turn will minimize the pain. Massages also increases the blood circulation to the affected areas of plantar fascia due to the pressure of the thumb, which reduces the stiffness, swelling, increases the lymph fluid circulation, and upgrades the oxygen intake of the muscles in that area.

The massage therapy also will release the pain-killing hormones. When all the toxic hormones are relieved from the body, the body will start to heal physically and emotionally and be relieved from pain. Regular massages to the feet adds up rich blood supply to the tired feet after prolonged use and promotes healing.

Can you make plantar fasciitis worse?

Yes, your plantar fasciitis can get worse before it gets better and starts healing. When you feel pain in your heel, at the start of a day, even after resting the whole night and that pain, which doesn't ease out but prolongs the entire day, it means it is getting worse.

If you feel you cannot bear to put pressure in your heels, it means that your plantar fasciitis is not getting better. Also, the pain will start to spread into the arches of your feet, which in turn will affect one foot more than the other, or disperse into the full arch.

When you feel the pain increasing, you will knowingly or unknowingly put pressure on your knees, and you will have worse knee pain as well by the end of the day. Moreover, if you don't take care of the pain, and rest your feet, the problem will move upwards to your hips and lower back, thereby causing severe issues to the whole body system.

Is walking good for plantar fasciitis?

Proper walking is good for plantar fasciitis. Keep walking, but have a limit to the distance you cover at a time. Walk on average speed and when you feel the pain starting, reduce the rate and try to rest your foot flat. Never forget to apply a cold pack after you return from the walk for fifteen minutes. This helps in reducing inflammation.

Keep a frozen water bottle ready to roll under your feet, if you walk for a long distance away from home. Choose the best walking boots to keep you away from plantar fasciitis. Walking and running along concrete surfaces like pavements, can worsen plantar fasciitis, even though it has been proven in some cases that walking on the firm surface has given positive results.

Can plantar fasciitis go away on its own?

Yes, sometimes it can go away on its own. Some simple home remedies and treatments like proper walking and cold pack massages can help in resolving the pain due to plantar fasciitis. But, if it had worsened already, it may take a bit longer than usual to heal with home practices. Exercises, stretching your foot, and walking for a while can help in keeping the plantar fasciitis at bay.

How long does plantar fasciitis take to go away?

Plantar fasciitis affects different individuals to different levels. Depending upon the intensity of tear, in the plantar fascia, healing period varies. Some have two to three weeks of pain; others may have six to seven weeks of illness. Based on the medication we take and the exercises and therapy we follow, it may take almost a year for the plantar fasciitis to get healed. Also, the work we do during the healing period may affect the healing and prolong it. Hence, it is advised to do minimal work during the healing time and rest the foot.

What is the leading cause of plantar fasciitis?

Plantar fasciitis is the inflammation caused to a thick band of tissues connecting heel bone and the toes. This condition will be painful. The arch, which is supported by the band of the tissues (plantar fascia) in our foot, in normal cases, will act as a shock-absorbing bowstring. These will get small scratches in them when more tension and stress is applied to it. When this happens repetitively, causing too many scratches over time, it will make the fascia get inflamed  and cause pain to the heel.

Abnormal movement of the foot, which is scientifically termed as excessive pronation, leads to plantar fasciitis. In general, when you walk or run, your foot will strike the ground on the outside edge of the heel, and then rolls in, moving towards your toes at this stage, your arch should flatten slightly. But, if you flatten too much, you will have excessive pronation, which causes plantar fasciitis.

The age factor is another cause for this. It is typically found in the people between the age group of 40 and 60. People, who land improperly, giving excess stress to the plantar fascia, like marathon runners, ballet and aerobic dancers are majorly affected.

Abnormal walking patterns will affect the Fascia, causing a tear in the tissue. If you gain more weight, it will stress your plantar fascia, thereby putting you at risk for developing plantar fasciitis. Walking on the hard stone surface or standing rigid for a long period without giving rest to the heels may also affect the fascia.

How can I treat plantar fasciitis at home?

You may need 6 to 12 months for the foot to be healthy again when you get affected by plantar fasciitis. However, you can get relief by trying the following tips at your home:

  • Rest: Rest your foot for a long time until the inflammation is reduced. You can keep your foot in a raised level with two or three pillows under your feet and lie down.
  • Ice Massage: The most comfortable way to treat plantar fasciitis at home is through an ice massage. This can be done in two to three different ways:
    • Keep ice cubes with some frozen vegetables in plastic bags and massage the most affected part for about ten to twenty minutes at a time for four to five times. This will help reduce inflammation and pain quickly.
    • Keep ice water in a tub and soak your heels in it. Take caution that toes are not getting wet. This can be done for ten to fifteen minutes three to four times a day.
    • Put some ice cubes in a plastic bag and roll it on your heels up and down, and sideways for fifteen minutes.
  • Exercises: If you practice some stretching exercise, for parts like calves, tendons, etc. you can make your foot feel stronger. Stretching exercises for your calves; Achilles’ tendon, and foot can make your foot stronger and reduce the swelling inflammation and pain. Continuing exercises for more than a month daily can keep you away from plantar fasciitis recurrence.
  • Athletic Tape: You can also go for Athletic tape to support your foot and keep movements restricted, thereby reducing plantar fasciitis inflammation.
  • Shoe inserts: These are available over the counter and can be very helpful to reduce your pain as they give you extra cushion and additional support.
  • Heel cups: The heel cups will help elevate your heel in order to relieve tension, and also to provide an extra cushion.
  • Night splints: Night splints that that can be worn while sleeping will help keep your feet at 90 degrees.
  • Walking cast: Your physician might suggest you a walking cast known as “controlled ankle motion walker.” However, this will be prescribed only when all the other above-mentioned treatments have failed.

What is the best treatment for plantar fasciitis?

If you feel a pain in your heel when you take your first steps in the morning as you get up from your bed, you might be suffering from plantar fasciitis. This is the inflammation caused in the tissue called “Plantar Fascia” that connects your heel and the toes.

When you visit your doctor, after examination and diagnosis, your doctor may prescribe multiple doses a day of Non-steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs), to reduce your pain and inflammation The doctor will recommend wearing a night splint. He or she will also suggest that you rest  your foot at an elevated level, and massage your heels with ice.

If your pain and/or inflammation don’t get subsided through NSAIDs, you may have to take steroid injections. Injected into the most painful area in your heels, this steroid may help you keep away the pain and inflammation for more than a month or longer. Added to medications, ice massage, and resting your feet, you can also go for physical therapy to treat plantar fasciitis.