How to Recognize Plantar Fasciitis
There are a number of injuries and conditions that can cause foot pain. One of these conditions is plantar fasciitis. The plantar fascia is the ligament connecting your heel bone to your toes and supports the arch of your foot. WebMD explains that plantar fasciitis occurs when the ligament becomes inflamed, causing noticeable pain in your foot- especially your heel. Heel pain is one of the most common complaints that podiatric specialists receive. So, how do you know when it's plantar fasciitis?
When the Pain Occurs
If you think you might be suffering from plantar fasciitis, then you should pay attention when you’re feeling the pain. One of the first tell-tale signs that you have plantar fasciitis is that you feel pain first thing in the morning. Another sign is that you feel pain in your heel when you first start walking, but the pain subsides after walking for a few minutes. As you begin your physical activity, you also notice less and less pain. However, the pain will begin again once you stop your exercise- but you typically don’t feel pain during your workout.
Risk Factors for Plantar Fasciitis
Typically those who suffer from plantar fasciitis are between the ages of forty and sixty. This is oftentimes considered a degenerative disease, so it’s less common for younger age groups to deal with this ailment. Your foot mechanics might play a role in this as well. If you are flat-footed or have an abnormal walking pattern, you might find that you deal with this issue as well. For those who do not have ideal arches or walking patterns, then your age will play less of a role depending on the amount of stress you put on your plantar fascia. Lastly, circumstances such as your weight and the amount of time you spend standing on your feet will make a difference as well. This will determine how much stress you put on your feet.
Understand Your Own Health History
Your personal and family history can play a large role in your diagnosis of plantar fasciitis. A physical examination and your anecdotal evidence are the main tools for your diagnosis. When talking to your doctor, make sure you explain:
- Your own past health, including any injuries you’ve sustained.
- The symptoms you’ve been experiencing, where the pain is and what time of day you notice the pain the most.
- How much exercise you get and how active you are on a daily basis.
- What type of physical activity your job entails.
What Can I Do About My Plantar Fasciitis?The first thing you should do is talk with your doctor to determine that it is plantar fasciitis and not another condition. After that, there are many things you can do in order to improve your condition. You can:
- Do exercises to make your plantar fascia more limber
- Take medication
- Visit a chiropractor