Plantar fasciitis is the heel pain occurring; caused by inflammation of the plantar fascia of the foot.
Plantar fascia is the thick tissue on the inside of the sole of the foot. This attaches the heel to the toes. This maintains the arch, when the toes are extended as it gets tightened. This is referred to as a Windlass mechanism.
Due to excessive standing or walking and obesity, this plantar fascia gets stretched and develops micro-tears at its attachment on the heel bone. These repetitive injuries lead to inflammation and persistent pain. Especially with the first steps in morning or with the first steps after a period of inactivity. There is a nerve near this attachment which may also get irritated and lead to nerve pain, in conditions of chronic heel pains.
Plantar fascia is seen commonly in home-makers and people with occupations of excessive standing. Initially they can be managed at home with,
- ice packs
- soaking heel in cold & warm water alternatively, and,
- the use of a medial arch support and heel cushion.
The medial arch support available online will help to reduce the stress on the plantar fascia and relieve pain. It will also help to heal the micro tears. Also, the heel cushions will help to reduce the irritation of the nerve inside the heel.
When the pain is unbearable and does not respond to the above measures, then a course of physiotherapy as advised by your orthopaedic surgeon can relieve the pain. Very rarely, prescribe steroid injections into the fascia or even more rarely surgery is indicative of good results.