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Everything There Is To Know About Plantar Fasciitis And Plantar Fascia Tear

Any type of chronic pain can affect our lifestyle a lot, and a shooting pain usually experienced in the bottom of the foot is no different in this regard. Besides, there is nothing like getting up in the morning and experiencing severe pain as soon as you put your feet on the ground, which is exactly what plantar fasciitis feels like. 

If you are experiencing minute or severe pain in your feet, it is best to acknowledge plantar fasciitis. So, let’s get started…

Plantar Fascia

To understand plantar fasciitis, it is important to understand plantar fascia anatomy. Plantar Fascia is a thick band of tissues that stretches from the heel to the ball of the foot. This band is elastic and thereby supports the bones and movement of the foot. In simple words, the stability that you experience in your foot is because of the plantar fascia. 

Plantar fasciitis and Plantar Fascia Tear

There are two conditions in which one can experience excruciating pain in the bottom of the feet, plantar fasciitis and a torn plantar fascia. The word “fasciitis” means inflammation in the fascia of any organ or muscle, and planter is related to the foot. Plantar fasciitis is just an inflammation in the plantar fascia. 

On the other hand, plantar fascia tear means a small break or damage in the fibers of the fascia. Continuous tension, pressure, and stress on the fascia can cause small tears. However, if repeated tearing occurs, it can cause serious inflammation. The exact causes of the condition are not possible to determine, but diagnosis is pretty simple. Generally, correct diagnosis is achieved just by discussing medical history and if needed, X-Ray and MRI are recommended.  

Nevertheless, both the conditions are very painful, and on most of the days, you would feel like having stabbing pain in your foot. Then again, both conditions are not life-threatening in any way, but life-altering for sure. Pain in the plantar fascia can limit several daily activities, and can even cause poor health conditions and weight gain. 

What can cause plantar fasciitis?

Multiple causes can damage or inflame your plantar fascia. However, you are likely to experience plantar fasciitis tear, if:

  • You either have flat or high-arched feet.
  • You are obese.
  • You keep on standing for hours and hours every day.
  • You are an athlete.
  • You run, jump or exercise on hard surfaces.
  • You work out without stretching your calves. 
  • Your footwear doesn’t support your feet. 

Treatment options:

Over 90% of the individuals who have torn plantar fasciitis recover within 10 months with the help of home remedies. Some of these remedies are:

  • Regularly stretching the calf muscles.
  • Switching to well-cushioned and supportive shoes. 
  • Use shoe inserts that support the arch of your foot.
  • Avoid walking bare feet. 
  • Using a night splint that reduces the tightness of calf muscles. 
  • Frequently massaging the area. 
  • Use ice pads on the area 3 to 4 times a day.
  • Limiting activities that involve prolonged standing.
  • Taking OTC anti-inflammatory drugs like ibuprofen. 
  • Shedding a few pounds. 

If home remedies don’t work for you, or the pain is simply unbearable, it is best if you consult a podiatrist (foot specialist). Some of the recommended treatments are:

  • Administering steroid injections.
  • Physical exercises like stretching.
  • Going for extracorporeal shockwave therapy, also known as ESWT. Shockwaves are knowns to stimulate the healing process, but this treatment option is uncommon. 

Lastly, if none of the remedies or treatments mentioned above works, and it has been 12 months or more, surgery is the answer. There are 2 different surgeries –

  1. Gastronemius recession.

With the help of this surgery, calf muscles are elongated, and as a result, tight muscles put required stress on the plantar fascia. 

  1. Plantar fascia release. 

In this surgery, the plantar fascia is partially cut to relieve the tension. 

Plantar fasciitis needs some or the other type of treatment. You can rely on home remedies for a couple of months or directly consult and Podiatrist. However, never assume that the pain will magically disappear one morning. It is unlikely that the pain reduces or goes away without any treatment or behavioral change. 

Questions to ask while consulting a Podiatrist:

  • Do I need to go for any tests?
  • What do you think is the cause of my plantar fasciitis?
  • Do you think this will go away with time or will it be chronic?
  • What type of shoes should I avoid, and what should I wear?
  • What type of night splint should I use?
  • How do I limit my physical activities?
  • What are the low-impact exercises that I can do?
  • What medicines should I take when the pain gets unbearable?
  • How often can I take steroid shots?
  • Should I start planning for surgery?

Ignoring plantar fasciitis can lead you to have chronic pain. Besides, if you start altering the way you walk or exercise to avoid plantar fasciitis pain, it can lead to issues like hip or back pain. Fortunately, there are many good podiatry clinics, and one of the most reliable is Podiatrists in Irvine California. If you are in pain, you should consult them without any delays.