Do your feet hurt as you take those first few steps out of bedin the morning? How about when you try to stand up after sitting down for a while?
Those are the classic symptoms of plantar fasciitis or inflammation of the plantar fascia.
The plantar fascia becomes inflamed if damaged and then you get the pain, swelling and discomfort that go along with it. Knowing the symptoms of Plantar Fasciitis is vital so that you can tackle it early on and prevent further damage.
Your plantar fascia is the band of tough connective tissue along the sole of your foot. It actually starts at your heel, moves across your sole and branches out to end under each of your toes.
According to WebMD, the plantar fascia’s job is to support the arch of your foot. It also plays a role in creating that arch in the first place. The support it offers allows each section of your landing foot to bear your weight as you walk or run.
Healthline.com further explains that the plantar fascia “functions mainly during heel-rise to toe-off” stabilizing the foot and getting your weight distributed appropriately over your sole. Another one of its primary functions is acting as a shock absorber.
As you walk or run, your feet take turns bearing the entire weight of your body. The stress and strain that this causes on the joints, bones and soft tissues of your feet are multiplied by high impact activities or by being on hard and uneven surfaces.
The plantar fascia helps by cushioning your feet and taking some of the impact pressure off them.
“A stabbing pain in the bottom of your foot near the heel” is one symptom highlighted by the Mayo Clinic on its website. This is, by far, plantar fasciitis’ most common symptom and is worse in the morning and after prolonged periods of sitting or standing.
This is explained by fact that the plantar fascia is springy and becomes elongated during the “contact phase” of your gait. That is, it stretches while your foot is pressing into the ground as you walk.
Periods of inactivity cause the fibers of your plantar fascia to shorten and tighten up. Tighter fibers experience more traction than is normal when you walk and this makes them irritated and sensitive.
Sudden weight-bearing after being inactive shocks the now sensitive plantar fascia tissues causing the characteristic first-step stabbing pain of plantar fasciitis.
One symptom a physician will usually examine you for and use to diagnose plantar fasciitis is “localized tenderness along the sole of the foot, most commonly at the inside arch of the heel”. That’s according to William C. Shiel Jr. (MD).
Apart from the pain and tenderness, you may also experience a burning sensation at the bottom of your foot. Some persons describe it as warm and tingly. Conversely, some plantar fasciitis sufferers find that the bottom of their foot feels numb.
There are several other symptoms associated with plantar fasciitis but which may affect some persons more than others. A comprehensive but certainly not exhaustive list is below.
The symptoms of plantar fasciitis should not be ignored since continued use of the damaged tissues can cause them to rupture. Rupturing of the plantar fascia happens suddenly and is accompanied by acute pain in your sole.
There are several other conditions (some of them quite serious) that may cause symptoms similar to those of plantar fasciitis. For this reason, it is best to consult with your primary healthcare provider so they can rule out these possible causes.
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The symptoms of plantar fasciitis are certainly not pleasant and persons affected by it are in search of relief as quickly as possible.
The good news is that there are several remedies you can try at home to alleviate plantar fasciitis symptoms and possibly prevent them from recurring. There are also simple lifestyle changes you can make to manage the condition.
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