We are made of flesh and bones, well, to tell you the truth, it is not that simple. We re more than just flesh and bones, we are tendons and fascia as well. My intention is not to confuse you but to add to your medical vocabulary just a little. Okay! We all know what flesh and bones mean, however, today we will talk about the fascia and what happens when we knowingly unknowingly injury it.
Fascia is a thick weblike sheet that connects a bone to the surrounding structure. They are usually flexible and able to resist tension. One such fascia is found in the sole of the feet namely plantar fascia. It connects the heel bone to the toes, and inflammation of this plantar fascia is called plantar fasciitis.
The characteristic symptom of plantar fasciitis is the stabbing pain in the heel felt after waking up in the morning, pain is felt with the first contact of the feet with the floor/hard surfaces. The pain usually gets better as you walk. Pain can severely impact your daily activities.
Although the exact cause is not known, it is believed to a repetitive stress injury wherein due to prolonged stress due to long-standing hours, running, dancing, or jumping, the fascia tends to develop small tears and gets inflamed. Anything that puts extra stress on the fascia can trigger this condition, like obesity. So teachers, factory workers, athletes, and dancers are susceptible to plantar fasciitis. It is also most common in the age group 40-65.
Diagnosis is usually made by medical history taking and physical examination of the feet. Even though symptoms are indicative of the condition, your doctor may recommend imaging in the form of x-rays.
The first line of treatment usually involves Rest, ice, and gentle stretching exercises. For pain, your doctor might recommend some OTC pain killers on as-needed basis. Additional PT may be advised in some cases. In case of pain is severe and not responding to the above treatment options, steroid trigger point injection may be helpful, and the last option is surgery, less likely recommended by doctors as it weakens the foot arch.