Whether you like to walk or run along a familiar path, there is one foot condition so painful that you may not be able to put weight on the affected foot to get out of bed. Don't let this issue keep you off your feet. Here is what you need to know about plantar fasciitis and how to deal with it should it become a problem.
A Painful Band of Tissue
A tissue band, called the plantar fascia, connects your heel to the base of your toes. This band gives your foot some stability as it helps hold your arch in place. If this tissue becomes irritated, it may become inflamed and painful. The pain can be so intense that you can't put weight on your foot.
A number of situations can cause the irritation of the plantar fascia, such as:
- Poor foot warm-up habits before you go on a walk, run or do an exercise session.
- Weakened foot muscles due to weight gain or an injury to the foot.
- Overused foot muscles by not taking sufficient breaks from exercise to allow your foot muscles to relax.
- Poorly fitting shoes that put stress on the plantar fascia.
The pain from plantar fasciitis often appears in the morning when you first get up out of bed. The symptoms may include:
- A burning sensation running along the bottom of your foot where the tissue band extends.
- Extreme pain when you push on either end of the band where it connects to your heel or toes.
- Weakness in your foot that results in your foot collapsing under you when you try to put weight on it.
Treating This Painful Condition
For temporary relief, should you wake up with this pain, try the following:
- Place an ice pack on the bottom of your foot to reduce the painful inflammation.
- Roll your foot on a ball or other round object to stretch the plantar fascia and relieve the painful tension.
- Take an anti-inflammatory medication such as ibuprofen to reduce the painful swelling.
A trip to a podiatry clinic will get you the following treatment options:
- Custom orthotics to place in your shoes which support the bottom of your foot and relieve tension on the tissue band.
- Physical therapy to strengthen muscles in your foot and gain support for the plantar fascia.
- Steroid injections directly into the plantar fascia to immediately relieve inflammation.
If you frequently experience plantar fasciitis in spite of these non-invasive approaches, surgery may be recommended to lengthen or move the attachment points of the tissue band to reduce the risk of irritation.
Contact a group like West Central Podiatry Consultants to learn more.