What is plantar fasciitis? Have you ever wondered where your foot pain comes from? The plantar fascia is a piece of stretchable tissue that extends from the heel to the area just below your fingers. The inflammation of this structure, mainly in the area where the fascia is inserted with the calcaneus, is what we know as plantar fasciitis. It can be a painful condition, so if you would like to know how to cure plantar fasciitis in one week, then keep reading.
The plantar fascia has a great biomechanical function when walking. It is responsible, together with other foot structures, for:
- Maintain the plantar arch
- Absorb and return the energy that occurs when the foot hits the ground
- Protect the metatarsals, avoiding excessive dorsal flexion of the fingers
It serves a lot of functions in the human body. But there’s nothing to worry about since there are plenty of plantar fasciitis home remedies that you can try out.
Is Plantar Fasciitis a Common Problem?
Plantar fasciitis, or inflammation of the fascia, is a very common pathology in the athlete population(runners, athletes, footballers, etc.), although it can also appear after 45 years old, especially to people who don’t practice sports. Fortunately, in this article, you will learn plantar fasciitis treatment.
Plantar Fasciitis Signs and Symptoms
The main symptom of this injury is the pain that occurs in the internal area of the heel, the part in which the plantar fascia is located, and that usually manifests more intensely in the morning due to the morning stiffness of the fascia. The pain is usually accompanied by mild swelling, redness, and tenderness in the lower part of the heel.
In the case of athletes, the pain will only appear in the morning and after the practice of sports activity so, in general, you can continue doing the activity.
When suffering plantar fasciitis the main symptoms are:
- Pain. It is what the patient suffers the most, and the first thing that you will notice when performing any sports activity
- Hypersensitivity and swelling
- Stress in the sole of the foot
At a previous point, we talked about the main factors that could cause plantar fasciitis. Precisely, having some of these factors controlled can help us prevent this problem.
For example, you must try to control your diet and don’t get overweight, as it is one of the main causes of this problem. But in addition to this, there are many other tips that can be carried out. All those exercises that help strengthen the soles of the feet can help, but you shouldn’t get yourself overloaded with exercise.
Everything that involves exercises using your ankles or to strengthen the soles of your feet. Massages or stretches are highly recommended, both to release the workload at times when the area is tense. It will help you prepare
In the same way, you have to avoid a sedentary life, yes, but also spending too many hours in a row standing up. For those who exercise, you have to try to run on surfaces that are not always too hard. Also, wearing the right footwear is very important, especially for people who have some problem in the soles of their feet or a particular way of treading.
Risk Factors For Plantar Fasciitis
Related to the previous point, there are certain risk factors that favor the appearance of plantar fasciitis. These risk factors can be varied, but they are almost always related to overexertion in the heel or soles of the feet.
For example, athletes who demand too much work in the area are quite likely to have this disease. It is a very typical ailment of footballers or athletes who, because of their physical work, are forced to work a lot with their heels and soles.
It is also frequent for people who work and spend a large number of hours a day standing. While standing, the soles of the feet are forced and the plantar fascia can be affected, thus fasciitis can appear.
Another of the risk factors that can favor the appearance of plantar fasciitis is carrying too much weight on your feet, or more weight than the usual. This can happen frequently in people who are overweight or pregnant women.
On the other hand, plantar fasciitis may be due to bone defects in the soles of the feet that prevent the person from treading properly. This can happen in people who have flat feet.
Finally, age can also be cited as one of the risk factors for the appearance of plantar fasciitis. People in adulthood may be more prone to suffer it, especially if they have some other type of bone disease like arthritis.
If we have any pain in the heel and sole of the foot, we probably have a beginning of plantar fasciitis. The most important thing to do is ask a professional to know how advanced or serious your condition is.
It usually begins with pain after performing physical exercise. If it is more severe it will produce pain before and after physical exercise. You will know when it’s in a serious stage when it produces pain before, during and after exercising.
Is This More Common In Men or Women?
In the non-athlete population, it is more common in women, while in the athlete population the percentage is fairly even.
In women, there is a direct relationship between plantar fasciitis and shortening of the posterior muscles of the leg. The more shortening, the more likely to cause plantar fasciitis. One of the causes why it’s more common to women because of continuously wearing of high heel shoes.
It is therefore very important, especially for young women, to alternate high-heeled shoes with shoes much flatter to prevent the muscles of the leg “get used” at the height of the heel and shorten. Read more: Best Protein Powder for Women: The Best Protein Powder Types Review
On the other hand, in ladies who have been wearing a high-heeled shoe for many years, the advice will be to try to decrease the height in a very progressive way, but never going from a high heel to a flat one since the increase in tension that will occur in the tendon of Achilles, twins, etc., will exponentially increase the chances of suffering from plantar fasciitis, Achilles tendinitis, lumbago, etc.
What Is The Difference Between Plant Fasciitis and Calcaneal Spur?
In some cases, the plantar fasciitis is confused with the calcaneal spur. When in the radiological tests we observed a calcification of the posterior-internal tubercle of the calcaneus, we spoke of the calcaneal spur(in the radiograph below there is a kind of “pointy protrusion” that goes from the heel to the inside of the foot). If the calcification does not appear in the tests, we are talking about plantar fasciitis.
How To Solve Plantar Fasciitis?
Severe plantar fasciitis can be a huge issue. The biggest difficulty in resolving this problem definitively is that, often, we focus more on the symptoms than on the causes. The inflammation, which is the cause of pain, it is possible to treat in many ways, but the important thing is to decrease the tension generated in the plantar fascia.
But if you keep on reading this article, you will learn how to cure plantar fasciitis in one week.
In many cases, the increase in the tension generated in the plantar fascia is due to the shape of the foot or the way of stepping (or both aspects together). If we only treat the acute phase of fasciitis, decreasing the inflammation of the insertion of the fascia, the patient will improve but possibly will worsen again when it takes a while with their usual physical activity.
Actually, the symptoms and the treatment are going to be very similar. The spur appears to maintain continuous traction of the fascia against the calcaneus. This tension provokes plantar fasciitis in the initial phase, and if it is maintained over time it will possibly generate the calcaneal spur. In both cases, the aim of the treatment will be to “relax” the fascia so that the inflammation and therefore the pain decrease.
We could say, although with some nuances, that the spur is the natural continuation of a fascitis maintained over time. That is why if you want to resume physical activity right away, you should learn how to cure plantar fasciitis in one week so you can get back on track.
It is very important to make the diagnosis as soon as possible and thus be able to start doing all the actions aimed at “relieving the fascia” as soon as possible. The sooner we start the treatment, the better results we will get in the short and medium term. So if you know the signs of this issue, you can treat it earlier. It’s essential to know how to cure plantar fasciitis in one week so it would be easier for you to get back in action.
That is why in this section, you will learn how to cure plantar fasciitis in one week or at least reduce the foot pain causes.
What Causes Plantar Fasciitis?
Essentially, what is produced is an inflammation of the fascia, a natural covering membrane of tendons, muscles, bones, and joints. In this case, the plantar fascia extends from the calcaneus bone (the heel bone of the foot) to the heads of the metatarsals (the bones that connect the toes to the “body” of the foot).
All these bones form the so-called “footbridge”, and the plantar fascia joins them underneath, offering optimal support for the arch of the foot. And if you are wondering, if can plantar fasciitis cause knee and leg pain, yes it can so you must learn how to cure plantar fasciitis in one week if you want to get rid of all of that annoying pain.
Each time the foot is supported, the bridge loses height and the fascia becomes taut(like a shock absorber); This process increases when running, jumping or climbing stairs. And, if we look at the long-term process, an overload can lead to inflammation and even partial breakage of the fascia. We would be facing plantar fasciitis.
What Factors Can Cause Plantar Fasciitis and How To Prevent It?
As we have commented on previous occasions, all the excesses are bad, and in the case of plantar fasciitis, the saying comes back to serve us: both the lack of physical exercise and the excess thereof can favor the appearance of plantar fasciitis. However, if you start the exercises recommended in this article, you will start to see signs plantar fasciitis is healing, and that is how to cure plantar fasciitis in one week.
On the other hand, among the causes of plantar fasciitis known to exist to produce a plantar fasciitis we have: overweight, sedentary lifestyle, alteration of the plantar arch(flat foot or cavus), shortened Achilles tendon, excessive pronation, dorsiflexion of the limited ankle or weak foot muscles, lack of physical shape, too hard surfaces, inadequate stretching or absence of them and wear inappropriate shoes.
To prevent plantar fasciitis, we must avoid these risk factors. Above all, avoiding the lack of physical exercise and overweight, in addition to specifically training the muscles of the foot. In the case of runners, prevention will be a little more directed, trying to improve the mobility of the ankle-foot and avoiding running or jumping on hard surfaces and avoiding inappropriate shoes for training and/or competitions.
Also, there are a series of stretches recommended avoiding plantar fasciitis, which we will review along with the rest of known treatments for this ailment.
Plantar Fasciitis Treatment
Initially, the best treatment is always good prevention, both in plantar fasciitis and in any other ailment. Once we have detected failures such as excessive exercise, hard surfaces or use of bad shoes, but we also suffer plantar fasciitis despite prevention, it is time to move to the next level.
There are treatments based on physiotherapy and orthopedics. On the one hand, physiotherapy can relieve pain by mobilization and stretching; However, orthopedics would involve the use of templates that can cushion the impact and reduce pressure in the area(the templates for plantar fasciitis and this type of utensils should always be prescribed by a rehabilitation doctor, podiatrist or a traumatologist).
On the other hand, there are also medical treatments for this lesion, based on the use of analgesics and anti-inflammatories, although from my own experience we would say that they are not usually very effective in the long term(although in the short term). Likewise, infiltration can also be used, which would involve direct injection of analgesic drugs into the plantar fascia, but it is usually a reserved treatment as the last option that only a physician can perform. And for more severe plantar fasciitis cases, there is the option of plantar fasciitis surgery.
Likewise, there are also functional bandages and stretching exercises which have been shown to alleviate and improve the pain of fasciitis.
Tips to Prevent Plantar Fasciitis:
- Never forget to stretch
- Apply ice in the area regularly for 10 minutes
- Select the right shoe to run and use daily
- Plan your training plan well and do not increase the mileage abruptly
- Avoid using running shoes that are worn or old
- Always seek to maintain a healthy and adequate weight
- Take care of the posture and the career technique
Here are some exercises you can do to rehabilitate and prevent plantar fasciitis. It is important to note that, in addition to a stretch appropriated the sole, it is important to elongations of Achilles, the twins or calves because they are muscles or ligaments, to be shortened, can generate an excessive voltage about the plantar fascia and other structures.
Depending on the severity of the injury, treatment and rehabilitation should be guided by a physiotherapist who can use tools such as manual therapy, cryotherapy or electrotherapy, which are other ways to approach this injury.
Exercises to Relieve Plantar Fasciitis
As examples, we can name:
- Stretch with a towel, sitting, with both legs stretched and surrounding the foot with a towel on the base of the fingers. The exercise would consist of pulling the towel with both hands to produce dorsiflexion of the foot, bringing the fingers up, for 30 seconds, about 10 times per series, for 2-3 sets per day.
- Massage with a cold or frozen bottle: this type of exercise is one of the most recommended in consultation. It involves using a soft drink or bottle of water, with a cylindrical shape, cold or frozen. The foot is passed over the said surface for one minute, about three times a day, with a separation of 30 seconds between each plantar massage. As an alternative, you can use a foam roller, although in this case, it would not be cold, or an accessory like this roller created for more concrete areas such as feet.
- Achilles Tendon Stretch: This exercise is similar to stretches performed when exercising twins. On an elevated surface(such as a staircase or a step), with bare feet and walking on a towel that is just below the toes, the Achilles tendon is stretched eccentrically. First of all, we will stand on tiptoe on the step or step with both feet, and then we will descend downwards only with the affected foot.
It should be noted that, despite the fact that stretches have shown effectiveness through the scientific studies carried out in this regard, plantar fasciitis has a complex treatment. If it is solved in its acute phase, things can evolve favorably.
However, if it becomes chronic plantar fasciitis, things may not end up having a feasible final solution. If you are still experiencing pain after these exercises, then you may want to see a specialist such as a plantar fasciitis chiropractic, they can guide you in how to cure plantar fasciitis in one week.
- Step stretching. On a step such as a box, put the tips of your feet on the end of the step, raise your heels slightly and gently lower them without bending your knees.
You will notice how the toes rise, tense the foot for approximately 30 seconds and recover the initial position. We will repeat this exercise 10 times, three times a day.
- Stretch on a wall. In front of a wall, place your hands on it, stretch your arms and place one leg stretched back while the other leg is stretched forward.
Without raising your heels, we lean forward and tense your heels, this position will keep it for 30 seconds. We will repeat this exercise 10 times, three times a day.
- Stretch with a bottle or ball. We will help ourselves with a ball or a can of soda. We will place the foot on the ball exerting pressure with the plant on it, now we will perform exercises of sliding forward and backward, letting it roll.
This exercise we will repeat with each foot about 50 times a day, this way we will be able to relax the sole of the foot of the tensions.
- Stretch with an elastic band. In this exercise, we will stretch the sole of the foot as much as we can, with our hands we bend the toes back, paying special attention to the thumb.
This exercise we will do first with the knees bent and then with the legs stretched. In each exercise, we will hold the stretch for 30 seconds. This exercise will be repeated 3 times a day in sets of 10 repetitions.
- Plantar fasciitis massage. Sitting on the floor, we stretch the sole of the foot tensing the fingers. We will perform light and gentle massage with the tips of the fingers, in the plantar fascia while it is stretched, making circular movements.
As you go through these massages, you will notice how the fascia begins to relax. These exercises will be done for a few minutes, stopping when we notice that the muscle relaxes. With these massages, you will be able to learn how to cure plantar fasciitis in one week or even less if you keep doing them.