Plantar fasciitis just happens to be one of the most common injuries that are suffered by athletes. This injury involves the plantar fascia, which is a band of ligaments that connect the heel bone to the toes. It is highly likely that the injury is due to overuse and repetitive movement. Below you will discover the symptoms and treatment for plantar fasciitis.
As mentioned above plantar fascia is the ligament that is located in the heel, so the symptoms that are exhibited will be in that area. Once the ligament becomes injured inflammation and edema is inevitable, which is always linked to the source of the pain. The onset of symptoms may not be instant, but they will begin to appear within the first 1-2 hours after injury.
• Weakness in affected area
• Affected area may potentially be warm to touch
• Difficulty putting pressure on heel due to pain
Many athletes will often call plantar fasciitis, jogger’s heel, because it most often plagues individuals that compete in sports and repetitive exercises that involves the use of the ligament.
If this is your first time dealing with plantar fasciitis, you may instantly be drawn to visit your primary care physician. It can be a very disturbing injury to suffer, if you are a competitive athlete, because it will require rest in order to heal quickly. There are several home treatments that are very effective in treating this condition.
Rest – is crucial and may require anywhere from 24-48 hours, which may not seem like a long time for some individuals, but it can for professional athletes. You will find many prosthetics over the counter that will help stabilize the ligament to keep it mobile. Slings and crutches will also come in handy, while you are attempting to be patient and let the plantar fascia heal.
Ice – is a must, because it can actually reduce inflammation and pain. Ice is capable of numbing and blocking the pain sensors in the affected area. Of course, some individuals find that ice is a little unbearable, so you can alternative with moist heat therapy. Leave the ice pack in place for 15 minutes, then alternative to the moist heat pack for 15 minutes. Never apply the ice directly to the skin, because prolonged exposure to the cold temperatures may potentially cause frostbite. Wrap the ice pack in a towel, before applying it to the skin and take note that this can also reduce the pain caused by the ice.
Compression – is another effective treatment that you can take advantage of at home. By wrapping your heel or foot with an Ace bandage, you will not only be stabilizing the ligament, but helping to reduce pain and edema. Many athletes will continue to wear their shoes, even though their foot is swollen, because it keeps the ligament stabilized. It is important to monitor the circulation in your foot at all times, when you are wearing the Ace bandage. Check the toe nails periodically and note signs of cyanosis (blue shading or coloring of the skin). If you see that your toes are cyanotic, immediately remove the bandage to allow the blood to flow freely to the area.
Elevation – is very important, because it plays a huge role in the treatment process. By propping your foot up on a stool, you will be increasing the blood circulation to the area, reducing edema, and decreasing your pain level. Please note that your foot should be higher than your heart, so you may need to take advantage of your recliner. You can also utilize pillows or throws to elevate your foot, while you are in bed.
If Symptoms Worsen
The symptoms of plantar fasciitis should start to subside after 24-48 hours. If you notice the symptoms becoming more severe, you should definitely consider an emergency room visit. You may have an underlying condition that needs to be diagnosed and treated immediately. Repetitive use of the plantar fascia can lead to more severe injuries such as tears in the ligament. If this occurs, you may need to undergo surgery to repair the ligament.
If you are an avid athlete or just someone that likes to take a job around the block, it is important to protect yourself from potential injuries. Take rest breaks in between your workout routine, to give your muscles time to cool down.