Plantar fasciitis is pain from inflammation of the plantar fascia, the connective tissue at the base of the foot. This connective tissue forms an arch-like shape that extends from the base of the heel and towards the toes. The plantar fascia supports body weight and movement.
Who gets Plantar Fasciitis?
Plantar fasciitis can happen to anyone but is more likely in older adults. Consequently, people who are obese, who stand for long hours, and certain athletes (like distance runners) are also more susceptible. Furthermore, the root cause of plantar fasciitis may depend on the individual’s health status, daily activity, and type of activity.
In other words- people who need extra foot support and aren’t getting it (the elderly), who put too much stress on their feet (who are obese), and who overuse them (like distance athletes).
What is Causing the Pain?
It is believed that micro-injuries to the plantar fascia are what is the cause of inflammation and subsequent pain. If left untreated, the plantar fascia may loosen and the foot becomes flat. As a result, body mechanics are altered causing behavioral changes to avoid pain and a greater likelihood of musculoskeletal injuries.
This condition is usually diagnosed by aligning symptoms of pain with the details of one’s daily activity. For example, people with plantar fasciitis experience the most pain after long periods of sitting, standing, and in the morning time. Furthermore, by providing details about the pain patterns and daily activity, an individual can help a physician diagnose this condition.
How to Treat it?
There is much one can do to deal with plantar fasciitis including stretching, using cold patches, rest, and taking over the counter pain medications (like ibuprofen). Other options include:
Chiropractic treatment can help alleviate pain and promote good body mechanics.
One is likely to change the way they walk to feel less pain, but this is actually placing more stress on other body structures like the hip and lower back. Furthermore, a chiropractor can teach exercises to perform at home to further alleviate symptoms and prevent further injury.
Depending on how the pain presents itself, massage may be an option. Inflammation consists of a collection of fluids at a local area in the body to repair an injury or quarantine an infection. This concentration of the fluid, in turn, exerts a pressure of local pain receptors which signal for pain. While massage therapy can help spread the localized fluid (inflammation) and thereby alleviate pain.
In severe cases of plantar fasciitis in which the pain remains unresolved or in which the plantar fascia has become loose, PRP (platelet-rich plasma) prolotherapy might be the solution. PRP injections heal connective tissue by promoting its healing and growth. As a result, this can help tighten the plantar fascia and get it to work how its supposed to.