Plantar facilities is the pain in Plantar Fascia the tough ligaments connecting our heel portion to the front of foot.They help provide a support system to the arch of foot and support movements of foot as well as body.Though these ligaments are strong enough to act as shock absorbers also giving valuable support to the arch of foot. But when we put strain on our foot it can hurt and tear these ligaments resulting in pain in plantarfasciitis with inflammation as well stiffness. Person feels mild to severe pain in ones heels but concentration of pain is more in arch area.
Though the immediate causes are not very much traceable but yes main causes can be
• In sports people where forceful running is required specially running using toes rather than heel.
• People with poor walking style that puts more pressure on plantar fascia.
• Flat footed people and people with weakness in foot arch are also the causes that causes pain in these ligaments.
• Traction injuries means over stretching of Plantar Fascia and this can happen due to weak muscles of foot arch or poor foot walking style.
• Compression injuries is caused by landing on a sharp object that can hurt the ligaments so the pain is felt in arch than in heel of foot.
Normal person or any sport person feels this pain in the heels or arch of foot more in morning or after a brief rest. It is always worst when person start moving but as the ligaments warm up after some activity pain improves a little. This ligament pain has five stages—
• No heel pain is felt.
• Pain is felt in heel soon after exercise.
• Heel pain is experienced before and after exercise.
• Pain that continues before, during, after exercise.
• Pain is felt by person every time even when at rest.
Pain in all these 4 stages happens due to overuse and hurt in ligaments. Any delay in taking treatment or further injury can result information of calcium in plantar faciities known as heel spurs. It can take longer time to heal so timely help can be beneficial.
Common Risk factors—
Risk of Plantar faciities increases due to following factors
• People who are fat or over weight have more chances.
• Pregnant women can develop this pain due to increased sudden weight
• People with jobs that require more walking or continuous standing for long hours particularly on hard surface.
• Flat footed people and people who have high foot arches as it can put strain on ligaments.
• With the age arch of foot sags that puts extra stress on plantar fascia.
• Wearing high heel sandals or footwear with poor foot support.
• Problems like Arthritis and diabetes are prone to this pain.
• Very weak muscles of foot arch can be reason these ligaments can get hurt.
• In many sports or activities like Aerobics, ballet dancing. athletes more strain is on these ligaments.Moreever if calf muscles are stiff or stiffness in ankle can hurt plantar Fascia.
At the initial start of plantar facilities pain, it is always better to take precaution by taking some rest, avoiding the long distance walking or running, standing for long hours can be reduced. Best thing is always to take timely physiotherapy help to stop it from becoming worst. Physiotherapists are trained to diagnose the factors contributing to this pain and after it is formulated a treatment program to address plantar facilities.
Physiotherapy treatment may include
• Aim is always to reduce the pain and enhance healing of ligaments.
• Poor foot and leg biomechanics is one of the main cause so experts try to correct it to reduce pain stiffness and inflammation. Too much delay in taking help can lead to heel spurs.
• In extreme cases, patient can be recommended to Podiatrist to have advice about foot aiding devices.
• In mild pain, physiotherapy formula is rest, ice, and wearing plantar fascia braces as well, heel cups as a way to avoid further damage to these ligaments.
• Identifying stiff foot and ankle joints then suggesting electrotherapy, joint mobilisation techniques, dry needling,
• Light stretching exercises plus soft message can also help.
• For weak foot, arch physiotherapist can suggest foot stabilisation exercises to strengthen the arch muscles and enhancing its endurance power.
• Physiotherapist assess the normal functioning of leg, calf, thigh and hip muscles and then suitable excercises are recommended to bring them to normal functioning. Proper working of all these muscles is important as it controls the foot arch and its movements.
Physiotherapist can help a patient improve running as well landing postures with the help of proper excercises and training.
Type of footwear you wear are assessed and comfortable foot wear that supports your foot well are suggested to patient.