Pain in Arch of Foot

Plantar Fasciitis is the major cause for the pain in arch of foot. In this article we are going to discuss briefly about the topic pain in arch of foot and about plantar fasciitis causes, symptoms, diagnosing and treatments.

What is Plantar Fasciitis?

Plantar Fasciitis means inflammation of your plantar fascia. Your plantar fascia is a strong band of issue (like a ligament) that stretches from your heel to your middle foot bones. It supports the arch of your foot and also acts as a shock-absorber in your foot.

Pain in arch of foot

Causes

You are more likely to injure your plantar fascia in certain situations. For example:

  • If you are on your feet for a lot of time, or if you do lots of walking, running, standing, etc, when you are not used to it or have previously had a more sedentary lifestyle.
  • Another, if you have recently started exercising on a different surface – for example, running on the road instead of a track
  • Furthermore, if you have been wearing shoes with poor cushioning or poor arch support
  • Also, if you are overweight – this will put extra strain on your heel.
  • Finally, if you have a tight Achilles tendon (the big tendon at the bottom of your calf muscles above your heel). This can affect your ability to flex your ankle and make you more likely to damage your plantar fascia.

How common is it?

Plantar fasciitis is common. Around 1 in 10 people will develop plantar fasciitis at some time in their life. It is most common in people between the ages of 40 to 60 years. However, it can occur at any age. It is twice as common in women as it is in men. It is also common in athletes with effects
pain in arch of foot .

Symptoms

Pain in arch of foot is the main symptom. This can be anywhere on the underside of your heel. However, commonly, one spot is found as the main source of pain. This is often about 4 cm forward from your heel, and may be tender to touch. The pain is usually worst with the first few steps after awakening, although it can also be triggered by long periods of standing or getting up from a seated position.

How is it diagnosed?

Your doctor can usually diagnose plantar fasciitis just by talking to you and examining your feet. Rarely, tests are needed if the diagnosis is uncertain or to rule out other possible causes of heel pain. These can include X-rays of the heel or an ultrasound scan of the fascia.

Treatment

There are two types of treatments available

  • Non surgical
  • Surgical

Non Surgical Treatment

Role of Physiotherapy

Role of physiotherapy is modification of foot wear, use of heel pads and arch supports.

There are other modalities including topical ultrasound treatment and ice packs to reduce inflammation. Achilles stretching exercises is also helpful.

Regular, gentle stretching of your Achilles tendon and plantar fascia may help to ease your symptoms. This is because most people with plantar fasciitis have a slight tightness of their Achilles tendon.

If this is the case, it tends to pull at the back of your heel and has a knock-on effect of keeping your plantar fascia tight.

Also, when you are asleep overnight, your plantar fascia tends to tighten up (which is why it is usually most painful first thing in the morning). The aim of these exercises is to loosen up the tendons and fascia gently above and below your heel. Your doctor may refer you to a physiotherapist for exercise guidance.

Steroid Injection:

There is a limited role of steroid injections in these cases.

Extra-corporeal shock-wave therapy:

In extra-corporeal shock-wave therapy, a machine is used to deliver high-energy sound waves through your skin to the painful area on your foot.

Surgical Treatments

This may be considered in very difficult cases. Surgery is usually only advised if your pain has not eased after 12 months despite other treatments. The operation involves separating your plantar fascia from where it connects to the bone; this is called a plantar fascia release. It may also involve removal of a spur on the calcaneum if one is present.

How can this be prevented?

Most people have completely recovered from an episode of plantar fasciitis within a year.

There are certain things that you can do to try to prevent plantar fasciitis, especially if you have had it before. These include:

  • Regularly changing training shoes used for running or walking.
  • Wearing shoes with good cushioning in the heels and good arch support
  • Losing weight if you are overweight
  • Regularly stretching the plantar fascia and Achilles tendon, especially before exercise
  • Avoiding exercise on hard surface

If you want to read about knee pain then click here

Home Remedies

you may relieve your pain in the arch of foot by adopting minor changes in your lifestyle. But in some cases these home remedies may not work and you may need proper medical treatment.

Have Rest

Take a break from your routine work and have rest at the earlier stage of pain. Avoid the activities those put the stress on your feet, like running and jumping. Icing your feet may also be helpful in relieving pain in the arch of foot.

To read in detail about the self stretch techniques you are suggested to click here.

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