Plantar fasciitis means inflammation of your plantar fascia, which is a strong band of tissue (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. The cause is thought to be a number of small injuries to the foot, in particular your heel bone. People who have to spend a long time on their feet or suddenly do lots of walking, running, standing, etc, can be prone to it. However, often no specific cause can be found. People who are overweight or have tight Achilles tendons can be prone to this ailment. Pain, usually about 4cm in from your heel, is the main symptom and further tests are rarely required to confirm a diagnosis.
Usually Plantar Fasciitis will heal in time without treatment. Like all fascia or ligament injuries, these can take some month to disappear. Conservative treatments such as rest, special footwear with a cushioned heel, arch supports as well as over the counter pain relief medication are the first line of treatments. Specific exercises with a Physiotherapist are also very useful. In very persistent cases steroid injections or overnight splints may be used. Botox injection are also being used, although these are not widely available. Only in very serious cases is surgery suggested.
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