Lai Yanqing, director of the rehabilitation department of the Hsinchu branch of National Taiwan University Hospital, said that plantar fasciitis is one of the most common causes of heel pain. Our plantar fascia is a thickened fascia that extends from the calcaneus of the heel to the toe. The plantar fascia is like a spring that can provide the stability of the arch of the foot and maintain the stability and absorption of the foot. If you cannot walk because of plantar fasciitis, here are six treatments.
1. Medication: Relieve pain and remind the feet to rest. We can adopt the principle of PRICE in the acute phase (P: Protection, R: Rest, I: Ice, C: Compressing, and E: Elevation).
2. Physiotherapy: including transcutaneous electrical stimulation for pain relief, deep-seated hyperthermia such as ultrasound, and short wave for relaxation. It combines with plantar fascia stretching exercises or intramuscular arching of the foot.
3. Custom-made suitable insoles: Prop up the arch of the foot to maintain a good foot mechanics structure, avoiding the collapse of the foot arch from continuously pulling the plantar fascia. Now, there are new 3D printing and computer-aided diagnostics of insoles that can provide a better choice.
4. Extracorporeal shock wave: Use shock wave energy to regenerate good circulation in chronically inflamed areas and strengthen the repair function. There are many studies to prove its effectiveness.
5. PRP autologous platelet growth factor injection: using the growth factor after platelet centrifugation to repair degenerated and damaged tissues and improve their elasticity and function is currently a popular and innovative treatment.
6. Non-conservative treatment: surgical treatment such as fasciotomy.
You can follow the instructions of this YouTube video for the most accurate method.
Table of Contents
- What Is Plantar Fasciitis?
- Mild Plantar Fasciitis Can Improve on Its Own
- Reasons for Plantar Fasciitis
- How To Treat Plantar Fasciitis At Home: Treatment For Plantar Fasciitis
- House Slippers
- Plantar Fasciitis Relief Socks
- Comfortable Shoes for Plantar Fasciitis
What Is Plantar Fasciitis?
If the tension and pressure on the plantar fascia change too much, a small tear will appear in the fascia. After repeated stretching and tearing, the plantar fascia will be irritated or inflamed. The pathological changes of plantar fasciitis are mainly the degeneration of fibrous tissue.
Lai Yanqing explained that the clinical manifestation of plantar fasciitis is usually plantar tingling. This kind of pain usually occurs in the first step of getting out of bed in the morning. After a few more steps, the pain gradually decreases. But after standing or walking for a long time, the pain may be aggravated.
Plantar fasciitis is more common among people between 40 and 60 years old, especially those who like to jog. In addition, people who are obese, wear high heels, or whose soles are too hard are also prone to plantar fasciitis. Occupations that require long-term work are also high-risk groups.
Mild Plantar Fasciitis Can Improve on Its Own
Lai Yanting reminded that in the face of milder plantar fasciitis, reduce the amount of exercise, change to wear suitable shoes, choose shoes with good arch support and shock absorption performance will cause facial pain. Other conservative treatments include applying ice for 15 minutes during pain or after exercise. In addition, Lai Yanting introduced seven rehabilitation exercises. People with plantar fasciitis can relieve their symptoms at home.
If the heel pain persists and cannot be improved, we recommend going to the rehabilitation clinic for further evaluation and treatment. If it is plantar fasciitis, apart from taking painkillers, you can also arrange rehabilitation programs, such as stretching the plantar fascia and Achilles tendon, strengthening the muscles of the calf and foot, and arranging heat therapy at the same time.
Electrotherapy to relieve symptoms. Patients can also wear guards while sleeping to stretch their calves and soles. For more serious cases, shock wave therapy and injection therapy can be vital, such as injections of steroids or high-concentration platelet plasma.
Reasons for Plantar Fasciitis
A journey of a thousand miles begins under the foot. The foot of a normal person has 22 bones and 33 joints. There are a few ligaments tightly connected between these bones, just like a steel cable tied to a beam and column to stabilize the foot. Among them, the arch of the foot is a structure that particularly maintains stability and absorbs the impact of walking. The “plantar heel” has a plantar fascia like a super spring that connects the calcaneus and phalanges that is a natural shock absorber.
Su Jeong Hee, a rehabilitation physician at Kaohsiung City’s Xiaogang Hospital, said that whether it is because the posterior tibial tendon that supports the arch of the foot loses its support, the arch collapses and causes flat feet. Congenital muscular dystrophy patients with high arch feet can cause it.
Deformation of the joints, or running a marathon, standing for a long time, great shoes for standing all day or shopping in high heels will cause excessive stretch and damage to the plantar fascia, degenerative changes, and even inflammation and calcification. They will cause pain and the formation of plantar muscles.
Su Jeong Hee continued, “So when the plantar fascia is injured for various reasons, it will lose its original elasticity and reduce the ability to absorb shocks. It is why the plantar fascia immediately after getting out of bed from sudden tension. The resulting pain is just like turning up the crust on an unhealed wound. Every step you step on is painful.”
Clinical symptoms, X-ray images, and skeletal muscle ultrasound can assist the diagnosis of plantar fasciitis. Pain happens when walking after resting, getting better after walking a few steps. Pressing the soles of the feet can cause pain, extending from the anterior edge of the calcaneus to the medial anterior edge.
How To Treat Plantar Fasciitis At Home: Treatment For Plantar Fasciitis
The typical symptom of plantar fasciitis is a pain in the heel’s front, especially after an entire night of sleep. The pain is often the most serious the moment after getting out of bed. After a few more steps, it turns into a milder pain.
The sudden tightening of the fascia that has not been weight-bearing for a period may cause it. The general incidence of women is about twice that of men. In the past, plantar fascia mostly occurred over the age of 40, but modern people may not exercise enough. Plantar fasciitis occurs at 20, and it is commonplace.
The front of the calcaneus is often a tender point, and the pain may extend along the fascia to the arch of the foot, or even to the metatarsal joints. Some patients have combined calcaneal spurs, which are difficult to treat.
- Long-distance walkers
- Long-standing walkers
- Barefoot walkers (except for walking on mud)
- Runners wearing flat shoes or slippers
- People who rarely exercise their lower limbs
- People who suddenly run to play beach volleyball.
- Avoid the above easily triggered factors, including walking barefoot and so on.
- Choose shoes that can properly support and protect the arch of the foot, comfortable arch support sneaker including outdoor shoes and indoor slippers.
- Some people have good shoes when going out. But they are still prone to this disease if they wear unprotected or supportive slippers in the home.
- Apply ice for those with redness, swelling, and inflammation, and apply hot for those without. The hot compress should be above the calf to relax the calf muscles.
- Medication: including non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and muscle relaxants.
- Physiotherapy: such as hyperthermia, hydrotherapy, electrotherapy, ultrasound, and plantar fascia massage. If the treatment still cannot improve, consider extracorporeal shock wave therapy (ESWT).
- Double stretching exercises of calves and soles of feet can stretch and strengthen the fascia and reduce its pressure and inflammation.
- Local injections can be given if necessary, such as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, steroids, and proliferation therapy preparations.
- Choose a suitable foot pad to protect the sole and heel and increase the support for the arch of the foot.
- Do more calf and sole stretching and muscle strength training to improve flexibility and endurance.
- Properly choose footpads, pay attention to normal protection and maintenance, and reduce the chance of heel spurs and plantar fascia fibrosis.
Besides choosing shoes for beauty and convenience, foot care and health needs are necessary. A physical therapist said that plantar fasciitis has become younger in recent years. One reason is that it is caused by wearing sandals or flip-flops for a long time. They remind you that even if you wear it, you can only wear it occasionally, such as wearing flip-flops throughout the week. If you walk for 5 to 6 hours a day, the risk of illness will increase.
Flip-flops need to clamp the shoes with their toes. During the process, the feet are constantly exerting force. In addition, the thin soles cannot support enough that makes the foot muscles tense and prone to strain and pain. If there is no improvement for a long time, it can become plantar fasciitis. Children should not wear flip-flops because their feet are still in the growth stage before the age of 5 to 6.
The body has a recovery mechanism. Even if you suffer from plantar fasciitis, you can recover with rest. Procrastination has little effect. If you go downstairs to buy things, it takes about 10 to 20 minutes. But if you go to the beach to walk for a long time on the sand or walk on the street for over one hour, it is not recommended. If you wear slippers every week and walk for 5 to 6 hours a day, you may get plantar fasciitis.
If you want to prevent plantar fasciitis, simple calf stretching exercises and towel-grabbing exercises are perfect. The former method is to stand against the wall with both hands, bend your left foot forward, straighten your right foot back, and go forward. There is a pulling sensation on the back of your right calf instead of pain for 30 seconds. Then, repeat 3 to 5 times on each side.
Plantar Fasciitis Relief Socks
Plantar fasciitis is a small inflammation of the band of tissue in the foot that supports the arch of the foot and connects to the heel. Although there are several favorable causes and factors, they usually appear due to overload, muscle weakness, or joint blockages. For this reason, fasciitis is more common in runners.
The first step is to go to the podiatrist to put yourself in the hands of a professional. It is essential to fight against a health problem. Since excessive tension causes fasciitis in the foot’s fascia, many physiotherapists and podiatrists use taping therapy or physical therapy to reduce the tension in this area.
Comfortable Shoes for Plantar Fasciitis
The first thing to consider for reducing the pain associated with plantar fasciitis is that all feet are unique. It is essential to find shoes that are suitable for your foot. When looking for the perfect shoes, make sure the shoe is neither too big nor too small. Since the heel is the part of the foot with pain, look for shoes that fit well.
Feet with plantar fasciitis need shoes that are comfortable and have a splendid structure. Choose great sandals for plantar fasciitis, so try to avoid high heels or minimalist style shoes. It is also possible to opt for insoles to add to the shoes you already own. We can find these insoles in pharmacies that allow you to adapt any shoe to your feet. Consult your podiatrist to find out which insoles would be the most appropriate for you.
One tip to keep in mind when shopping for an extra pair of shoes is that the most important thing is to avoid impact on the heel. To do this, look for shoes that are rather firm at the heel and arch and bend at the toes. The important thing is that when you walk, the weight transfer to the front of the foot is good, reducing the weight and the impact on the heel.
When looking for suitable shoes for plantar fasciitis, it is vital to look for structured shoes. To optimize weight transfer, high heels and flat ballerina-style shoes should be avoided, as they do not provide adequate support. These types of shoes do not provide enough support and can make your problem worse. In addition, make sure that someone firmly encloses the heel in the shoe, since the stronger the heel, the less the foot will move in the shoe that limits the stress on the heel.