Plantar fascia is a rubbery structure on the undersurface of the foot extending from the heel all the way to the toes. It forms the bow string for the undersurface the foot long arch. It works like a spring on walking and running. If the spring is stiff, the stress increases in the heel area or in the forefoot area. The increased stress leads to micro-tears in the plantar fascia.
Why & how does it happen?
Plantar fasciitis is one of the commonest orthopedic problems in the foot and ankle area. It is a repetitive strain injury. It occurs in people with stiff soles. The risk of plantar fasciitis increases with stiff footwear, weight gain, sedentary lifestyle and with overuse.
Who gets Plantar Fasciitis?
It is commonly seen in people between the age group of 30 to 50. It is slightly more common in women compared to med. It occurs in runners as well as in people with sedentary lifestyle.
After walking first few steps pain improves
Painful to walk longer distance
Pain on walking after sitting for a period of time
Swelling (less common)
Heel pain is common, however in come it can be mid or fore foot pain
When to seek medical help?
If the pain in persistent for more than 2 weeks, it is prudent to seek medical help. A thorough assessment by an expert Orthopedic Surgeon is useful. Plantar fasciitis can be diagnosed clinically and there is no need to perform x-ray and scans in most patients.
What happens to Plantar fasciitis if no treatment is undertaken?
Plantar fasciitis can linger for long, ranging from few months to two years or longer in some. It takes long time to self heal and occasionally a dull pain may remain. In some, it may lead to achilles tendon pain, knee and even hip pain.
What happens when I visit the Consultant?
You will be asked about the duration and nature of your symptoms. Consultant will examine you and discuss the treatment modalities.