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Plantar Fasciitis – Overview

January 21, 2021


"Plantar fasciitis is inflammation involving the plantar fascia, a tight band of tissue that connects the heel to the forefoot on the sole of the foot. The condition involves inflammation of that thick, tight tissue, which is called fascia. And it's located in the bottom or plantar part of the foot. This is where the name plantar fasciitis comes from. Plantar fasciitis has a very characteristic symptom, which is sharp, stabbing pain in the bottom of the foot, backed by the heel. The pain is usually worse in the morning, especially with the first few steps out of bed. A heel spur can also sometimes be present on the x-ray, but the presence of this spur is not usually the reason for the pain. Rather it is just a sign of the disease. A doctor or a therapist can be consulted in any case of suspected plantar fasciitis, and a treatment plan can be initiated. Other causes of heel pain, such as Achilles tendonitis, calcaneus fracture, and nerve injury can also be ruled out. In most cases, plantar fasciitis is due to inflammation and tightness in the plantar fascia. The condition is commonly seen in patients with tight posterior chain musculature as is seen in Achilles tendonitis. The posterior chain musculature includes the hamstring and calf muscles, runners, overweight patients, and those who wear unsupportive shoes may also be at risk for the condition. Middle age is also known to be a risk factor for plantar fasciitis. Stretching exercises, and anti-inflammatory medications such as Neproxin, ibuprofen, Meloxicam, or diclofenac can be useful in treating plantar fasciitis. The anti-inflammatories also known as NSAIDS are often prescribed for a two to three week period to be taken every day so that they can over time or on gradually improving the inflammation. These medications can often be used for a few weeks to help combat the longstanding inflammation that is present. Though caution should be taken, especially in cases where the patient has a history of gastric ulcers or kidney disease. As NSAID medications can affect these systems, patients who are on a blood thinner must also be careful with these medications, anybody with any potential NSAID problems or interactions should ask their own doctor prior to taking them. Splints braces or insoles may be used. Physical therapy is also commonly recommended for plantar fasciitis, ice, and rest can be helpful as well. Plantar fasciitis can be treated at home, often successfully. Injections are sometimes used for treatment in cases that failed to respond to other measures. Thankfully surgery is not commonly needed for treatment of plantar fasciitis. Since most cases resolve without surgery is reserved for cases that failed to respond to all other measures of non-surgical management, including injections. In surgery, the plantar fascia may be partially or completely released. Surgery has a high success rate, but as with any procedure, there is a risk of complications."

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