Plantar fasciitis is a common foot condition that affects millions of people worldwide. Characterized by pain in the heel, especially during the first steps in the morning or after prolonged periods of rest, plantar fasciitis can significantly impact an individual's quality of life.
Understanding Plantar Fasciitis:
Anatomy of the Foot: The plantar fascia is a thick band of tissue that connects the heel bone to the toes, forming the arch of the foot. Its primary function is to support the foot's arch and absorb shock during walking.
Causes of Plantar Fasciitis:
Overuse: Excessive stress on the plantar fascia due to prolonged standing, walking, or running can lead to inflammation and microtears in the tissue.
Foot Structure: Flat feet or high arches can contribute to uneven weight distribution, increasing the strain on the plantar fascia.
Improper Footwear: Wearing shoes with inadequate arch support or poor cushioning can exacerbate the condition.
Age and Weight: Plantar fasciitis is more common in individuals between 40 and 60 years old, and excess weight can contribute to increased pressure on the feet.
Symptoms of Plantar Fasciitis:
Heel Pain: The hallmark symptom is a sharp, stabbing pain in the heel, typically felt during the first steps in the morning or after periods of inactivity.
Foot Discomfort: Pain may also be present after prolonged periods of standing or walking, improving with rest but returning upon activity.
Tenderness: The bottom of the heel may be tender to the touch.
A healthcare professional, usually a podiatrist or orthopedic specialist, will diagnose plantar fasciitis based on a physical examination and a discussion of symptoms. Imaging tests such as X-rays or ultrasounds may be ordered to rule out other potential causes of heel pain.
Acupuncture can help reducing the pain and inflammation.