Often, people ask whether conditions like Plantar Fasciitis will ever get better. Plantar Fasciitis is an overuse syndrome that can be started by several factors. It is never a cause; it is always an effect (caused by other factors), and there is much conflicting advice on how to deal with it.
If you experience pain in or around the heel or heels, you may have Planter Fasciitis. Although there are several other painful heel conditions, Plantar Fasciitis is easy to diagnose.
The most common story is: “It bothers me when I first get up in the morning. It gets better after I have walked on it for a while, but gets worse if I have been sitting, even for even a brief time then stand.”
The pain is usually in the bottom, almost the center of the heel, and sometimes radiates into the arch, although many people also complain of pain around the edge of the heel or up the back toward the Achilles tendon attachment.
Plantar Fasciitis, like other repetitive stress disorders, does not just happen; there is always a reason. To get to the “bottom” of it, you need to do some “sole” searching. What I mean is that you must be brutally honest with yourself and be an active participant in your treatment.
This is sometimes hard to do when you are in pain, but you can start with a series of questions. Such as:
Do I work standing on hard surfaces for more than 4 hours a day?
Are my shoes appropriate for the work that I do?
Do I work on ladders, climb stairs, lift heavy stuff or crouch and/or bend … a lot?
Could I lose some weight?
Do I exercise enough?
When questioning people about the onset of this condition, most can associate it with an event. Things such as a bad pair of shoes, standing for too long or doing a particular job like painting or washing windows, where you might be up and down a ladder or step stool.
We see seasonal spikes in heel pain, such as in the fall when people are going from sandals back into closed shoes. Or in the new year after much running around during the holidays and standing at functions in our dress shoes. Or in the spring trying to get back in shape after a sedentary winter. Or gardening vigorously.
The fix? There are too many to count, ranging from “old wives’ tales” to sensible advice. A few of the more common are Physiotherapy, structured stretching, orthotics, hot, cold, night splints, heel cushions, laser, compression sleeves, acupuncture, steroid injections, and on and on.
Some of these methods might help, and some might do nothing at all. Rule of thumb: The longer you have experienced symptoms, the longer it will take to get results.
Figuring out what is causing your pain is always a good first step and anything you can do to help yourself is worth a try, it may cost little or nothing and be more long lasting in improving your life.