Plantar fasciitis is probably the most common cause of pain that affects the feet, causing a stabbing pain. This sensation of pain and inflammation is most pronounced in the mornings, just after you get out of bed. If you spend most of your day seated at a computer, you probably would have also experienced the pain when you suddenly get off the chair and on to your feet. As your muscles and ligaments are stretched the pain lessens through the course of the day, but it may surface occasionally. The condition is also likely to act up when you spend an extended period of time standing, or if you spend a lot of time seated, probably before a computer, and then suddenly stand up to move.
What exactly is Plantar Fasciitis?
Plantar fasciitis takes its name from the region that it affects. Your foot is supported by a strong band of tissue or a ligament that connects the heel to the toes. This ligament is known as the plantar fascia, and any irritation or inflammation to this ligament will cause severe pain described as plantar fasciitis. The inflammation or irritation can occur as a result of strain and stress or due to a lack of exercise and sudden strain. Walking and standing can be quite painful when you suffer from the condition.
Although the condition is a lot more common among middle aged or older adults it can also affect young adults who spend a lot of time on their feet. This is why it is a particularly common condition among runners and other athletes. In such cases it could in some ways be viewed as a stress injury. Similarly, plantar fasciitis can also be a problem for individuals who are overweight or during pregnancy. Improper foot wear that does not provide adequate support also puts you at risk of developing plantar fasciitis.
Plantar fasciitis symptoms may develop all of a sudden, generally after some intense activity, or they could even develop gradually over a period of time. Symptoms associated with plantar fasciitis include pain that:
Plantar fasciitis occurs as a result of injury or irritation of the plantar fascia, which is the thick tissue band at the bottom of the foot. This typically develops because the ligament is over stretched or overused. Some of the risk factors that could cause plantar fasciitis to develop include:
Although the condition can affect individuals of practically any age group, it is most prevalent among middle aged or elderly men past forty.
The treatment for plantar fasciitis typically involves the use of anti-inflammatory drugs and pain killers to provide relief from the symptoms and facilitate healing. Conventional treatment too, does involve the use of natural methods, primarily lifestyle modifications. Home remedies for plantar fasciitis are therefore not necessarily an alternative treatment, but are actually essential for effective recovery.
In almost all cases the patient will respond to treatment, but in very severe cases where non invasive treatments are ineffective there may be a need for corrective surgery.
No diet for plantar fasciitis can help cure the condition, but your diet is nevertheless extremely important. Your diet affects the general health of your body and nutritional intake has a direct effect on the health of the ligaments, muscles and tissues. A healthy nutritious diet should therefore aid recovery. In addition to nutritional value, omega 3 fatty acids in certain foods exercise an anti-inflammatory effect; they help reduce inflammation and also promote tissue repair. For this reason, certain foods like flax seed, and sea foods like herring, tuna and salmon should be included in your diet. Turmeric is also known to possess potent anti-inflammatory properties, so it may help to use it for seasoning. Fluid intake is also crucial to recovery, so ensure you have an adequate intake of water
Diet is also important because of its effect on your weight. Obesity and weight gain are significant risk factors for plantar fasciitis, particularly when there is a sudden increase in weight. Try and ensure that you follow a balanced diet, with plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains and lean meats. Exercise for weight loss may not be feasible right now, but should be resumed gradually, once the plantar fascia has healed completely.
If you wish to cure the condition effectively, there are some things you need to keep in mind.
You need to be patient and maintain consistency in treatment. The condition usually resolves completely over time, if you follow the physical therapy or stretching exercises, wear suitable foot wear, and give your feet a chance to recuperate.
The earlier you address the problem the better. Ignoring the pain and neglecting it will simply cause a worsening of the condition, and treatment will need to be followed for much longer.
Keep in mind that in almost all cases, complete recovery could take as much as a few months or a year. The results will start to show within a few weeks however.