As you rise from bed the next morning after a lengthy run, a sudden jolt of pain shoots up from your heel, causing you to pause on the edge of your mattress. Have you experienced it? If so, you have plantar fasciitis. This condition is more prevalent among individuals who engage in running, much like you. Nevertheless, the probability of encountering it rises with factors such as higher body weights, having either flat feet or high arches, and frequently wearing high heels. The good news is that plantar fasciitis can be treated non-surgically.
What do plantar fasciitis symptoms look like?
Plantar fasciitis involves the swelling of the plantar fascia, a dense tissue band linking the heel bone to the toes. The primary indication is sharp pain in the heel, aggravated by prolonged periods of standing or transitioning from sitting/lying down to standing.
This condition commonly results in tenderness, discomfort, and inflammation in the heel area of the foot. The pain is often described as a pulsating, burning, or stabbing sensation solely concentrated on the heel, without any tingling or spreading. It may seem as if you are walking on a pebble or experiencing a bruised heel. The intensity can be particularly high when getting out of bed in the morning or after extended periods of rest, yet typically diminishes within 30-45 minutes.
What causes plantar fasciitis?
Plantar fasciitis is mainly caused by excessive use or repetitive movements, which leads to small tears in the fascia. Other factors that can contribute to this condition include trauma, abnormalities in foot structure such as flat feet or high arches, limited or excessive ankle mobility, obesity, aging, occupations that involve prolonged standing, activities like running, jumping, or dancing (such as ballet), being female (as women are at higher risk), and wearing high heels or shoes without proper arch support.
Is there any plantar fasciitis cure?
One positive aspect of plantar fasciitis is that it typically resolves within 6-18 months with proper treatment. However, for certain individuals, it can develop into a chronic ailment. The symptoms may initially improve and then reoccur, or the pain may persist consistently for a year or more.
What are the multiple plantar fasciitis treatment modalities you can try?
Non-prescription non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) can be effective in reducing inflammation and alleviating pain. However, if the pain is intense or continues for a prolonged period, it is advisable to consult a healthcare professional.
- Rest: Refrain from using the body part or engaging in activities that worsen the injury. In the case of plantar fasciitis, this entails avoiding running, jumping, or wearing high heels until the pain completely subsides. Once the pain is gone and regular activity is resumed, be mindful of avoiding actions that initially caused the problem.
- Ice: Apply ice to the foot multiple times a day for 15 to 20 minutes each time. Make sure to never directly apply the ice to the skin. Ice aids in pain relief and inflammation reduction.
- Compression: Utilize a brace, supportive sock, or comfortable sneakers to reduce swelling and provide support to the affected area.
- Elevation: Whenever possible, elevate the foot and leg to alleviate swelling and pain.
To ensure proper support for your feet, it is advisable to wear shoes that provide arch and ankle support. This is particularly important when engaging in running, high-impact activities, or standing for extended periods. It is best to avoid wearing high heels, sandals, and other shoes without proper arch support. Your doctor may suggest using shoe inserts or orthotics for additional support. In severe cases, a walking cast, boot, or night splints might be recommended for optimal relief.
Plantar fasciitis exercises
Exercises for plantar fasciitis can effectively alleviate pain, reduce inflammation, and promote healing. Physical therapy provides various stretches like towel stretch, wall stretch, standing calf stretch, standing heel raises, towel strengthening exercise, and theraband strengthening exercise. These exercises aim to strengthen and repair the affected area. Prior to engaging in intense exercises, it is crucial to stretch to prevent injuries, alleviate pain, and aid in recovery. Additionally, massaging the foot using a tennis ball or seeking professional massage therapy can provide relief and relaxation.
Plantar fasciitis treatment with corticosteroids involves administering corticosteroid medication directly into the affected area to decrease inflammation and alleviate pain. This approach is typically employed when other non-invasive treatments like stretching exercises, orthotics, and physical therapy have proven ineffective in providing relief.
Advancements in technology and the development of advanced techniques in regenerative medicine have resulted in safer and more dependable treatment options for plantar fasciitis.
- One such option is platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapy, where plasma is taken from the patient and fractionated to increase platelet concentration. The platelet-concentrated plasma is then injected into the patient’s foot, aiding in the recruitment of stem cells and promoting collagen formation. This particular therapy is preferred due to its minimally invasive nature and utilization of the patient’s own tissues.
- Another effective approach is stem cell therapy, which contributes to the repair of damaged tissue and the creation of new, healthy tissue. Stem cells are collected from the patient and then injected into the heel, targeting the affected area of the plantar fascia.
A review article in 2021 revealed that these biologic therapies offer a wide range of cellular components, growth factors, and proteins to restore normal tissue biology.
Choose Medica Stem Cell clinic for a diverse selection of regenerative medicine treatments aimed at healing injuries and conditions, such as plantar fasciitis. Our team of experts provides personalized treatment options that cater to your injury, lifestyle, and requirements. Don’t let persistent plantar fasciitis hinder your running – get in touch with Medica Stem Cell today for effective treatment.