Prevention Of Plantar Fasciitis

 Maintain A Healthy Weight

When you carry extra pounds, you’re putting a lot of strain on your heels, plantar fascia ligament as well as the arch and ball of your foot. This causes inflammation, pain, and eventually, may lead—or contribute—to the onset of plantar fasciitis. Add to this the fact that your feet can absorb up to two and a half times your body weight while running. The faster you run, the more strain your feet take in.

Warm-up Before Exercise

Warming up and stretching your muscles prior to diving right in has a huge impact on how your muscles and tendons prepare for and respond to exercise. Tight or “cold” muscles aren’t able to stretch as easily, are more prone to injury, and are less able to perform and support other muscles and tendons–including the ones in your feet!

Wear the right shoes

Proper footwear is essential to help prevent plantar fasciitis. Shoes should provide adequate support across the entire foot. People who stand for extended periods should consider adding a shock-absorbing mat to stand on. This will help relieve the stress on the foot and calf muscles.

Run on soft surfaces

According to many experts, running on hard, uneven, surfaces can increase the risks of injury—plantar fasciitis is no exception. Opting for softer running surfaces reduces the impact and stress your feet absorb as they strike the ground—thus less inflammation and stress to your fascia.

Be active

Find ways to stay active on a regular basis. Carving out 10 or 15 minutes of activity every day, or every other day, will keep your muscles, tendons, and ligaments in your feet limber, better able to support you, and free of Plantar Fasciitis. Don’t think this has to be strenuous activity, or even that you have to put your gym clothes on. A walk around the block, 10 minutes spent stretching, or a friendly game of catch will keep you moving and limber!

Treatment Of Plantar Fasciitis

Medications

Pain relievers such as ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB, others) and naproxen sodium (Aleve) may ease the pain and inflammation caused by plantar fasciitis.

Therapy

Stretching and strengthening exercises or using special devices may relieve symptoms. They include:

  • Physical therapy

A physical therapist can show you a series of exercises to stretch the plantar fascia and Achilles tendon and to strengthen lower leg muscles. A therapist might also teach you to apply athletic taping to support the bottom of your foot.

  • Night splints

Your physical therapist or doctor might recommend that you wear a splint that stretches your calf and the arch of your foot while you sleep. This holds the plantar fascia and Achilles tendon in a lengthened position overnight to promote stretching.

  • Orthotics

Your local podiatrist might prescribe off-the-shelf or custom-fitted arch supports (orthotics) to help distribute pressure to your feet more evenly.

 

Surgical And Other Procedures

If more conservative measures aren’t working after several months, your doctor might recommend:

  • Injections

Injecting steroid medication into the tender area can provide temporary pain relief. Multiple shots aren’t recommended because they can weaken your plantar fascia and possibly cause it to rupture. Using ultrasound imaging, platelet-rich plasma obtained from the patient’s own blood can be injected to promote tissue healing.

  • Extracorporeal shock wave therapy

In this procedure, sound waves are directed at the area of heel pain to stimulate healing. It’s usually used for chronic plantar fasciitis that hasn’t responded to more conservative treatments. Some studies show promising results, but it hasn’t been shown to be consistently effective.

  • Ultrasonic tissue repair

This minimally invasive technology was developed in part by Mayo Clinic doctors. It uses ultrasound imaging to guide a needlelike probe into the damaged plantar fascia tissue. Using ultrasound energy, the probe tip vibrates rapidly to break up the damaged tissue, which is then suctioned out.

  • Surgery

Few people need surgery to detach the plantar fascia from the heel bone. It is generally an option only when the pain is severe and other treatments have failed. It can be done as an open procedure or through a small incision with local anesthesia.

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