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Family Guide to Plantar Fasciitis

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Family Guide to Plantar Fasciitis
Plantar Fasciitis is the most common cause of heel pain. Around 1 in 10 people will suffer from this painful disorder some time in their life. It is much more common in woman and although it can develop at any age it is thought to mostly affect people between the ages of 40 - 60.

At the bottom of the foot is a flat band of strong tissues that connect the heel bone to the toes, this is called the plantar fascia. This band of tissues supports the arch but can sometimes become damaged and thickened which causes heel pain to occur.

Most of the time there is no apparent cause for plantar fasciitis, especially in older people. However there are several factors that increase the risk of developing the uncomfortable condition such as being overweight or obese, standing on your feet for long periods of time and wearing unsupportive shoes. Small injuries to the fascia are also thought to be a cause of plantar fasciitis. It is likely to injure the plantar fascia in certain situations like walking, running and standing if the person is not used to it.

Plantar Fasciitis symptoms include pain and stiffness in the bottom of the heel. The heel can be tender to touch and can be much worse in the morning when stepping out of bed or when the foot has been rested with no weight applied for a long period of time. Usually when the pain occurs it is sharp although some people describe it as a dull pain, whilst others have described the condition as a burning or ache. Symptoms can be extremely painful and may limit daily activities that a person may usually do.

Living with Plantar Fasciitis

A GP or a health care specialist in foot care will perform a physical examination and will usually diagnose plantar fasciitis by the symptoms, they will check for tenderness and ask for a pinpoint of the pain to rule out other conditions such as nerve damage, bone infection or arthritis. On rare occasions further tests such as blood tests, x-rays or ultrasounds scans may be needed to check that nothing else is causing your heel pain.

Plantar Fasciitis treatment can include a variety of different techniques but usually the pain will ease in time, using a combination of painkillers and stretches can speed up recovery and help relieve the pain. It can take several months to a year for the pain to be completely eliminated but if symptoms have not improved then it may be a last resort to undergo surgery. The main treatments that will help with pain and eliminate symptoms are, rest; this is necessary whenever possible, try to reduce standing for long periods of time and reducing long walks. Footwear; by wearing supportive and correct footwear it can give a greater chance of not developing this disorder. Pain relief; using an ice pack can reduce inflammation and pain as well as taking anti-inflammatory drugs, such as ibuprofen. A great treatment plantar fasciitis exercises; regular, gentle exercises and stretches of the Achilles tendon and plantar fascia may help ease symptoms. The last resort would be surgery after being referred by a GP.

If plantar fasciitis goes on to be ignored, an individual may develop chronic heel pain which has serious complications such as it can change the way you walk, can cause issues with posture and cause injury to hips and back.

Practical Aids

Daily activities may seem particularly hard to an individual living with plantar fasciitis, it's extremely difficult to specify all the ways in which someone's life might be affected. Below are some valuable aids sufferers of plantar fasciitis could potentially benefit from, these have been designed by manufacturers to help reduce pain.


Physiotherapy aids will be necessary for sufferers, so manufacturers have produced an extensive collection of plantar fasciitis supports and great easy fit insoles that help with pain and tenderness. All products such as reuseable ice packs, cold compression therapy and biofreeze will all help to reduce inflammation.

Plantar Fasciitis Supports

Useful products for Plantar Fasciitis sufferers

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