Plantar fasciosis is a condition that affects the plantar fascia, a thick band of tissue that runs from the heel to the ball of the foot and helps to support the arch. This condition can cause pain and discomfort in the heel and the bottom of the foot, making it difficult for people to walk or stand for long periods of time.
Plantar fasciosis is sometimes referred to as plantar fasciitis, which is actually a misnomer. Fasciitis implies that the plantar fascia is inflamed, but in most cases, plantar fasciosis is actually a degenerative condition that occurs due to repeated strain on the tissue over time. This strain can cause tiny tears in the plantar fascia, which can lead to pain and discomfort.
Bare Feet and Poor Footwear: Contributing Factors
One of the main causes of plantar fasciosis is wearing poorly-fitted or inadequate footwear. Shoes that are too tight or do not provide enough arch support can put extra strain on the plantar fascia, leading to degeneration and pain over time. Wearing high heels can also contribute to plantar fasciosis, as these shoes place excessive strain on the forefoot and the arch of the foot.
Barefoot walking or running can also contribute to plantar fasciosis. Without the support of appropriate shoes, the feet and the plantar fascia are subjected to the full force of each step. This can cause wear and tear over time, particularly on flat hard surfaces. People who are involved in physical activities that put a lot of stress on the feet, such as running or jumping, are also at higher risk of developing plantar fasciosis.
Diagnosis and Treatment by a Podiatrist
If you are experiencing pain and discomfort in the heel and the bottom of the foot, it is important to see a podiatrist for an evaluation. A podiatrist will take a thorough medical history, including information about your symptoms, your daily activities, and your footwear habits. They will also perform a physical examination, including a thorough evaluation of the feet and legs.
In some cases, additional tests may be necessary to diagnose plantar fasciosis. These tests may include X-rays, or ultrasound. The results of these tests can help the podiatrist to determine the extent of the damage to the plantar fascia and to develop an appropriate treatment plan.
The goal of treatment for plantar fasciosis is to reduce pain and discomfort and to improve function. Treatment options may include:
Stretching and strengthening exercises to improve flexibility and support the arch.
Advice on properly-fitted shoes with good appropriate support.
Arch supports or orthotics to provide correction to the mechanical abnormalities leading to the problem.
Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) to reduce pain and inflammation (such as Ibuprofen).
Soft tissue therapy to improve mobility and reduce pain.
Injections of corticosteroids or other medications to reduce pain and inflammation.
In severe cases, surgery may be necessary to correct the damage to the plantar fascia (Please note this is not usually necessary even in very painful cases of plantar fasciosis).
It is important to work closely with a podiatrist to find the right treatment plan for your individual needs. With proper care and treatment, most people are able to recover from plantar fasciosis and return to their normal activities.
Plantar fasciosis is a common condition that affects the plantar fascia, a band of tissue that runs from the heel to the ball of the foot. This condition can be caused by a variety of factors, including poor footwear and high-impact barefoot activities. A podiatrist can diagnose plantar fasciosis through a thorough evaluation and may recommend a variety of treatments, including stretching and strengthening exercises, wearing proper shoes, using orthotics, and physical therapy.
It is important to address plantar fasciosis early to reduce pain and discomfort and improve function. If you are experiencing pain in the heel and bottom of the foot, it is important to see a podiatrist for a proper evaluation and treatment plan.