The ligament at the bottom of the foot is the plantar fascia. Its thickness provides adequate support to the heel and to the overall base of the foot. Although this ligament is designed to act as a shock absorber, it’s prone to a repetitive strain injury because it’s constantly used. The manifestation of inflammation and pain is a telltale sign that you’re suffering from plantar fasciitis.
It doesn’t take much to aggravate the plantar fascia. Walking and running are some of the simplest actions that can cause the condition to occur. This is because the ligament is in a vulnerable position, and it gets sore and becomes more sensitive when overused. Another contributing factor includes excessive pressure, so if you’re struggling with obesity, you’re at greater risk.
Shoes that don’t protect your feet properly will leave your plantar fascias exposed. Whether you’re working or exercising, you may experience inflammation and pain in both of your feet if you remain standing for hours at a time. Having flat feet can also be a contributing factor due to the fact that the ligament is forced to bear more weight and pressure than usual.
With conservative treatment modalities, you can successfully eliminate the discomfort and inflammation in your feet. The key is early detection, so it would be in your best interest to consult your doctor at your earliest convenience. Physical therapy for plantar fasciitis is proven effective, and it involves a wide variety of healing techniques. Depending on the severity of the condition, you’ll have to do some stretching and strengthening as well as passive and active exercises to improve your range of motion. It’s also highly important that you refrain from doing the activities that caused the problem to develop. If you aren’t able to stop doing the activities altogether, you should make it a point to limit your participation, and take breaks to give your feet a good rest.
While resting, you can place your heels on a bag of ice to relieve swelling and some of the pain that you feel. You should also consider sleeping with your feet elevated by putting a pillow underneath your lower legs. It may even be advisable to wear a night splint to keep your feet in a fixed position. Anti-inflammatory medications are available to encourage healing even more. Physical therapy for plantar fascia will have a positive impact on not only your lower extremities but also on your overall mobility. This is because the conservative modalities of physical therapy will help to eliminate the stiffness in your joints and hips.
Your efforts to heal plantar fasciitis will only pay off if you’re consistent in your treatment. You also have to avoid straining your feet. Don’t resume your normal activities until the injury has completely healed. The shoes you wear need to be comfortable and protective. You can use an arch support to give your shoes more cushioning. If necessary, use a reliable walking aid, such as a cane or crutches.
Plantar fasciitis is a self-limiting condition. It generally takes six to 18 months for the condition to subside completely. The good news is that the sooner you start physical therapy, the better your results will be. In order to prevent plantar fasciitis in the future, you have to tend to your feet on a regular basis. Massaging your feet after a long day at work will go a long way toward easing the soreness and tension in your feet.