Plantar fasciitis: causes, diagnosis and treatment
The plantar fasciitis is the acute inflammation of the plantar fascia, which comes to be an elastic tissue that is located in the plantar fascia, and runs from the calcaneus to the metatarsal area.
What is plantar fasciitis
The plantar fascia, also called plantar aponeurosis, is also essential for walking , since it is the one that maintains the arc plantar and is responsible for protecting the metatarsals . It also has to absorb and return the energy that is produced when the foot hits the ground. The protection of the metatarsals means that the fingers suffer from excessive flexion.
Plantar fasciitis is a fairly common injury in athletes , especially in basketball players. Without going any further, one of our most successful athletes, Pau Gasol, has suffered several times this injury, being the 2013 the most serious, since he had eight months away from the basketball courts. With the work of his physiotherapist, Joaquín Juan, and thanks to the exercises and the work done by him, he was able to avoid having to go through the operating room, to recover. In addition, in other modalities, such as in background races, it is also frequent to occur, usually in young people. Also the runners have begun to suffer this injury. If you are not an athlete, the risk increases, starting at 45.
The sporadic verification that the muscles of the calf, the Achilles tendon and the ankle have flexibility, can help prevent this type of injury.
Causes of plantar fasciitis
The sports , a inadequate footwear or a excess weight
Plantar fasciitis is usually caused by a elevated load in the foot , due to the sport practice, with an overload of sessions or parties, or a high effort, or by transiting high slopes or irregular surfaces. Also a bad footprint, especially on a hard surface, can make someone prone to this type of injury.
People, with feet digging , those that have excess arc in the plantar fascia, flat feet -source of plantar arch- and valgus feet -the ones that have a lateral deviation of the heel - also have a high exposure to these injuries, since these deformations, and the fact of having the feet excessively arched, can produce a plantar fasciitis.To this we must add, a palpation of the plantar area of the foot, an examination of the pain and the appearance of calcareous bony prominences. The physical examination and also the clinical history play a decisive role.
The podiatrist , also plays a decisive role, since he has to decide, after a study of the footprint , if the origin of plantar fasciitis is related or not, with the way of stepping.
Treatment for plantar fasciitis
Treatment for plantar fasciitis can undergo several phases, depending on each case. First, it is recommended to take ibuprofen or paracetamol, to try to reduce swelling and to reduce pain. Afterwards, the podiatrist can recommend a series of exercises to stimulate the stretching of the heel and foot. You can also recommend sleeping with night splints , in the area, and something, very important, the rest . Rest is essential, so as not to overload the area in excess.
The first phase usually involves a mixture of physiotherapy , which helped Pau Gasol a lot, for example, with anti-inflammatory, to try to reduce the swelling of the area.
In the case that plantar fasciitis is caused by the footprint of the patient, the chiropodist will proceed to design aspan> template , which will reduce the risk of a future relapse to release the fascia. These personalized templates have a high success in patients, who present this type of injuries.
Other quite useful recommendations, for the treatment, are the use of a suitable, robust footwear and with good cushioning, to prevent the area from being hurt again. It is also recommended in the initial phase, apply ice, in the inflamed area, especially during the first days.
If the different treatments did not work, it could be the case that they were necessary injections in the area, sometimes, even with steroids. There are also situations, in which plantar fasciitis, ends up needing surgery on the foot to solve the problem, although a good part of the cases usually end up being cured, before having to go through the operating room. Normally, non-surgical treatments end up reducing the pain in the patient enough.
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