Plantar Fasciitis – Symptoms, Signs, Diagnosis, Treatment
A disorder which results in pain in the bottom of the foot and in the heel is known as plantar fasciitis. It can lead to severe pain when the movement is done after a period of rest or with the first few steps of the day. When the toes are brought towards the shin and bending of the foot will also result in pain. This disorder is affected in both the legs of one-third of the people around the world. Typically, no night sweats or fever has been experienced by the people and the condition starts very slowly.
The causes are not very clear. But the risk factors include long periods of standing, obesity, and increase in the exercise. But this can also cause due to lack of daily exercises or roll of the foot inward. Plantar fasciitis is also characterized by the breakdown of collagen, scarring, and micro tears. It is a disorder of the ligament of bone at the insertion site. Many people feel that plantar fasciitis should be renamed as plantar fasciosis as inflammation in this condition plays a very small role. The symptoms and signs are considered and based on that diagnosis are done with ultrasound. The symptoms are similar in other conditions as well including ankylosing spondylitis, osteoarthritis, reactive arthritis, and heel pad syndrome.
Symptoms and signs:
The pain is usually sharp and unilateral when plantar fasciitis occurs. After taking rest for a long time, the heal pain worsens as the whole weight of the body is concentrated on the heel. The people suffering from plantar fasciitis often complains about the pain they experience after getting out from the bed in the morning. Continuous walking will improve the symptoms of this disorder. The symptoms including tingling, radiating pain, numbness, and swelling are experienced by the people when they step onto the ground after long periods of rest.
After taking into consideration the person’s history, clinical examination and the risk factors, a health care provider diagnoses the disorder. Due to the tightness of the Achilles tendon or the calf muscles, the foot may experience limited dorsiflexion. This may help you to draw out the pain occurred due to plantar fascia stretching with the motion. Imaging studies diagnosing are not required to diagnose plantar fasciitis. But this might be required to rule out the foot pain.
Few conservative methods of treatment and time are required to resolve this disorder in most cases. The doctors will advise the patients to rest in the first few weeks and take medications for pain. Stretching exercises will be provided by the physicians for making gradual changes in the affected area. Orthotics, steroid injections, splinting or physiotherapy will be the other options if the condition is severe. In the case of even more complicated disorder, surgery or extracorporeal shockwave therapy will be required. NSAIDs can be used for the treatment of plantar fasciitis but failed to rule out the pain in about 20% of the people. Acetic acid or dexamethasone are the examples of some anti-inflammatory substances which are used in the technique known as plantar iontophoresis to resolve the disorder.