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Plantar Fasciitis: Cause, Diagnosis and Treatment

Plantar fasciitis is deemed to be one of the most common causes of heal pain, according to the Mayo Clinic. Indeed, the pain associated with plantar fasciitis can end up being rather significant in many cases.

In most cases, a person with plantar fasciitis experiences stabbing pain, particularly first thing in the morning. As a foot limbers up through use, the level of pain typically subsides as the day wears on. With that noted, there are effective treatments available for plantar fasciitis.

Cause of Plantar Fasciitis

Plantar fasciitis impacts a thick band of tissue located at the bottom of a person's foot. The tissue is called the plantar fascia. The purpose of the plantar fascia is to connect the heal to the toes.

Plantar fasciitis is most commonly associated with runners and people who are overweight. Thus, the most common cause of plantar fasciitis is repetitive impact on the plantar fascia that gives rise to the condition. In other words, the tissue is stressed and strained either by the impact of something like running or the load required to support a person carrying excess weight.

Diagnosis of Plantar Fasciitis

In most cases, a diagnosis of plantar fasciitis is made by examining the foot and considering a patient's history. A professional considers the location, nature and timing of the pain experienced by an individual. In addition, a professional considers whether the individual is a runner or overweight. In addition, there are some professions which require a person to stand for an extended period of time that can contribute to plantar fasciitis.

In some cases when a medical professional is not 100 percent certain of whether or not a person suffers from plantar fasciitis, that healthcare provider will order an imaging of the foot to confirm the problem.

Treatment of Plantar Fasciitis

Physiotherapy represents a primary course of treatment for plantar fasciitis, according to the Mayo Clinic. This includes both stretching and strength enhancing exercises. A physiotherapist may also recommend splints to be worn at night to aid in relieving the symptoms of plantar fasciitis. In addition, a person might be prescribed orthotics as a means of reducing the symptoms associated with plantar fasciitis.

In the case of a person diagnosed with plantar fasciitis, a physiotherapist will recommend and develop an individualized course of treatment to meet the specific medical needs of the patient. This can include requiring the patient to forgo or at least limit certain activities with cause or aggravate plantar fasciitis. This can include being advised to forgo running. A physiotherapist may also assist a patient in developing a health diet designed to lose weight if obesity is a problem contributing to plantar fasciitis.