Over ¼ of Sonic Relief users and over 2 million people (American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons) experience sharp, stabbing, sometimes burning pain in the heel or arch of their foot. The diagnosis? Plantar Fasciitis, a condition aptly named which develops in the plantar fascia. Plantar Fasciitis occurs when the band of tissue on the bottom of the foot that connects the heel to the toes and supports the arch (the Plantar Fascia) becomes inflamed and/or strained.
In most cases this condition isn’t the result from one triggering event or accident but rather from too much pressure or activity over time. However, some risk factors may include:
- Tighter calf muscles that make it difficult to flex your foot and bring your toes up toward your shin
- Being overweight
- Very high arch
- Repetitive impact activity (running/sports)
- New or increased activity
In addition, those with plantar fasciitis often have heel spurs, but health experts say spurs are not the cause of plantar fasciitis pain.
As previously mentioned, Plantar Fasciitis is a painful condition causing sharp, stabbing, or burning pain in the heel and/or arch of the foot. More specifically however the most common symptoms of plantar fasciitis include:
- Pain on the bottom of the foot near the heel
- Pain with the first few steps after getting out of bed in the morning, or after a long period of rest, such as after a long car ride. The pain subsides after a few minutes of walking
- Greater pain after (not during) exercise or activity
Research in the Journal of Pain found that 70 percent of people with plantar fasciitis report moderate to severe pain, 61 percent have this pain daily and 54 percent say it interferes with normal work activities. Since most people rely on their feet to take them from place to place it is important that they are pain free!
Plantar Fasciitis can be diagnosed by your doctor, some symptoms they may look for are:
- A high arch
- An area of maximum tenderness on the bottom of your foot, just in front of your heel bone
- Pain that gets worse when you flex your foot and the doctor pushes on the plantar fascia. The pain improves when you point your toes down
- Limited “up” motion of your ankle
If you believe you may have Plantar Fasciitis please consult your medical provider.
Luckily, plantar fasciitis is relatively easy to cure! More than 90% of patients with plantar fasciitis will improve within 10 months of starting simple treatment methods.
- Decreasing or even stopping the activities that make the pain worse is the first step in reducing the pain. You may need to stop athletic activities where your feet pound on hard surfaces (for example, running or step aerobics).
- Rolling your foot over a cold water bottle or ice for 20 minutes is effective. This can be done 3 to 4 times a day.
- Plantar fasciitis is aggravated by tight muscles in your feet and calves. Stretching your calves and plantar fascia is the most effective way to relieve the pain that comes with this condition.
- Supportive shoes and orthotics:
- Shoes with thick soles and extra cushioning can reduce pain with standing and walking. As you step and your heel strikes the ground, a significant amount of tension is placed on the fascia, which causes microtrauma A cushioned shoe or insert reduces this tension and the microtrauma that occurs with every step. Soft silicone heel pads are inexpensive and work by elevating and cushioning your heel, shoe inserts are also helpful.
- Anti-Inflammatory Medication:
- Drugs such as ibuprofen or naproxen reduce pain and inflammation. Using the medication for more than 1 month should be reviewed with your primary care doctor. In addition, Cortisone, a type of steroid, is a powerful anti-inflammatory medication. It can be injected directly into the plantar fascia to reduce inflammation and pain. However, your doctor may limit your injections as multiple steroid injections can cause the plantar fascia to rupture or tear, which can lead to a flat foot and chronic pain.
- Sonic Relief Home Ultrasound:
- Therapeutic Ultrasound is one of the most effective treatment methods available for foot pain. Ultrasound treatment helps ease the pain of Plantar Fasciitis by stimulating the Fascia ligament with powerful ultrasonic waves. This stimulation produces an effect similar to that provided by exercising, and acts to speed the body’s own natural healing processes by increasing blood and oxygen flow to the injured area – in this case, a small area towards the front of your heel. It also helps your body to make room for new, healthy cells by removing damaged cells and breaking down calcific build-ups. Sonic Relief™ has an amazing 95% success rate in treating Plantar Fasciitis and completely relieves the pain and discomfort of heel pain for most users within two weeks of their first treatment.
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