What is plantar fasciitis? The answer to that question comes in many forms. To be technical...
Plantar fasciitis (PF), also known as Plantar Heel Pain (PHP) is a painful inflammatory process of the plantar fascia, the connective tissue or ligament on the sole (bottom surface) of the foot. It is often caused by overuse of the plantar fascia, increases in activities, weight or age. It is a very common condition and can be difficult to treat if not looked after properly. - Wikipedia
To be blunt...
But the bottom line result is really the same for everyone who suffers from this all-too-common disease:
Yes, plantar fasciitis
is debilitatingly painful, to the extent that those who suffer with it often cannot even fully express how painful it is to those who do not. The pain is focused primarily in and around the heel, but it can radiate up into the calf, and down across the bottom of the foot or the length of the plantar fascia ligament. This heel pain is most excruciating first thing in the morning when the ligament is at its tightest after a night of rest, and during exercise when the movement and impact tend to worsen the inflammation. So, it's not surprising to note that healthy, active adults and are the most common victims of plantar fasciitis: runners, joggers, basketball players, tennis and racquetball players... basically any sport that requires quick or repetitive movements combined with impact on the heel and arch of the foot can lead to plantar fasciitis. Aging seniors also suffer with this debilitating heel pain, especially if they are trying to remain active by regularly walking or jogging. Another leading cause of plantar fasciitis is being overweight or obese. In this case, while a sports-related injury may not be to blame, just the daily stress of walking with too much excess weight straining the plantar fascia ligament can lead to inflammation and painful heel pain. Anyone whose job requires long periods of standing or walking is prone to develop plantar fasciitis as well. And in all cases, wearing poor quality footwear, including athletic shoes with no arch support, can easily cause or worsen a case of plantar fasciitis. While it's not common, untreated plantar fasciitis can lead to chronic heel pain, permanent problems walking, and injury to the knees, legs, hips, and back.
What can you do about plantar fasciitis?
There are many ways to treat plantar fasciitis
, ranging from simple stretches to cortisone injections, and even surgery. However, most people find a combination of rest, ice, anti-inflammatory medication (such as Ibuprofen) and proper foot support while exercising or walking does the trick. When the inflammation is at its worst, rest the foot by staying off it as much as possible for a day or more. During that time, take anti-inflammatory medications according to the prescribed dosage and ice the bottom of your foot for 15-20 minutes three or four times a day. Then, as you ease back into normal activity, perform some basic stretches to limber up the plantar fascia and the Achilles tendon, and wear supportive footwear that will ease the strain on the ligament and the heel. The FS6 Compression Foot Sleeve
is an example of a medical device that combines
effective support with lightweight comfort, helping you get back into your normal routine with minimal aggravation. So, fortunately, while plantar fasciitis can be a painful and irritating problem, it does not need to be a permanent disability.