Plantar fasciitis (pronounced "fash-ee-EYE-tus") is an inflammation of the plantar fascia, the tissue along the bottom of your foot that connects your heel bone to your toes, and supports your arch. This condition affects over 2 million Americans and is typically characterized by intense stabbing pain in the heel - particularly first thing in the morning or after a period of activity. In many cases the pain decreases as the fascia warms up during the day but some sufferers (typically those with a chronic condition) are plagued all day with the pain.
The Plantar Fascia runs along the bottom of the foot, acting as your body's shock absorber by supporting the arch of the foot in carrying the body's weight.
The plantar fascia is thick, fiberous tissue that is not elastic. It originates at the heel bone (calcaneus) and fans out towards the base of the toes (metatarsal bones) and attaches to the bottom of them. It acts like a bow string to support the arch of the foot and absorbs the impact of walking.
Sometimes, when the impact is too great, tiny tears will begin to appear in the fascia. If the impact level continues unchanged, in time, these tears will increase in number, become larger and inflamed. The body repairs these tears in the fascia with scar tissue, which is less flexible than healthy tissue, and therefore leads to a cycle of re-injury and flare ups. Plantar fasciitis will become a chronic condition if left untreated.
What are the symptoms?
- A dull ache in the heel that can progress into a more acute pain.
- Significant pain with your first steps in the morning that may or may not subside.
- Pain that gets worse when standing or walking throughout the day.
- Inflammation of the bottom of the foot, especially near the heel.
- Pain when pulling toes back towards the shin.
Causes of Plantar Fasciitis
- Having flat feet or high arches.
- Wearing improper footwear and walking long distances.
- Carrying excess weight.
- Standing for long periods of time.
- Having bone spurs in the heel.
- Sudden changes in your level of activity.
- Doing high impact activities that involve repeated pressure or impact on the heels.
Plantar Fasciitis Treatments - What You Can Do!
The trick with healing plantar fasciitis and beating it once and for all is getting the plantar fascia to heal with minimal scar tissue formation - something the Plantar Inferno Wrap® is great at! Even with optimum healing, there is always less elasticity in a previously injured plantar fascia. This will cause the fascia to hurt during daily activities and exercise. However, if you heal your injury efficiently and quickly, your chance of re-injury later on is much lower than average.
Allowing your plantar fascia to rest is always recommended following injury. Avoid all activities that may have caused the injury or irritation and begin cold compression treatments as soon as possible. The plantar fascia is difficult to rest completely as it is essential for daily activities. During your recovery, you will probably have to modify and/or eliminate any activities that cause pain or discomfort in your plantar fascia until your pain and inflammation settle.
Fortunately, there are healing tools that can help treat your plantar fascia and speed up the healing process so you can get back to a life without pain and risk of further injury. The Plantar Inferno Wrap® will treat scar tissue and reduce inflammation while promoting blood flow to heal your plantar fascia and surrounding tissue faster and more completely than any other methods available.
Cold Compression Therapy
Doctors recommend using cold compression therapy to reduce pain and swelling and minimize tissue damage that occurs with plantar fascia tears and plantar fasciitis. The Plantar/Spur Freezie Wrap® allows you to treat your plantar fasciitis in an effective and convenient way.
Cold compression therapy works by interrupting and slowing nerve and cell function in the injured area and reducing swelling that can block blood vessels. This is important because once blood vessels are blocked or damaged, they can no longer carry oxygenated blood through the plantar fascia and tissue cells begin to break-down.
Without cold compression therapy cellular break-down and tissue damage continues as the cells do not get the oxygen they need to survive. By limiting the amount of damage done to your plantar fascia, you also limit the amount of healing that needs to occur. This is a very important step to heal your plantar fascia faster and with less pain!
The deep cooling effect provided by the Plantar/Spur Freezie Wrap® slows cell metabolism thereby reducing cellular break-down and tissue damage. Furthermore, because the cold wraps serve to numb the nerves, the wrap also reduces pain! The Plantar/Spur Freezie Wrap® uses a supercharged cooling gel pack with a medical-grade neoprene compression cover to keep the cold directly off your skin preventing cryoburn while delivering cold right where you need it, along the bottom of your foot.
Blood Flow Stimulation Therapy
Once the inflammation in your plantar fascia has been reduced, nourishing and strengthening the tissue in the plantar fascia and surrounding area is recommended.
Using Blood Flow Stimulation Therapy, or BFST®, will speed your recovery and heal your plantar fascia more completely preparing it for strengthening exercises. BFST® increases the amount of blood that flows naturally to your foot to nourish your plantar fascia, and other foot ligaments, tendons, and muscles, improving elasticity and accelerating the healing process.
The plantar fascia receives a limited blood supply and this greatly reduces its natural ability to heal itself. By treating your plantar fascia with Blood Flow Stimulation Therapy you can increase your body's blood supply to the foot and increase your body's natural healing power. In addition, the fresh blood flow whisks away dead cells and toxins that have built up from plantar fasciitis leaving the area clean and able to heal faster. Our Plantar/Spur Inferno Wrap® provides effective, non-invasive, non-addictive pain relief and healing with no side effects.
Wearing a night splint to treat your plantar fasciitis allows you to begin your day in significantly less pain and heals your inflamed fascia ligament faster. Night splints are designed to maintain a gentle stretch of the plantar fascia while you sleep.
Here's how it works! Your ankle is stabilized at an angle that keeps the fascia taut and prevents it from constricting as you relax your foot throughout the night. Preventing the fascia from constricting as you sleep alleviates the painful mornings all too familiar to plantar fasciitis sufferers and accelerates the healing process. Our lightweight, padded Dorsal Night Splint and Night Splint with Tread will give you the stretch you need while you sleep comfortably and heal your pain.
These conservative treatments are the most effective, pain-free way to treat plantar fasciitis. However, recovery time can be lengthy depending on your situation and commitment to treatment (6 weeks to 6 months or longer) is important. Avoidance of aggravating activities (any activity that involves repeated, impact of your heel on a hard surface such as jumping) and activity modification (pursuing less strenuous, weight bearing routines such as water exercises or biking) is recommended.
Remember: We recommend that you consult your doctor and/or physiotherapist before using any of our outstanding products, to make sure they're right for you and your condition.