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Do you have pain around the heel?

Does it get worse every morning and gradually goes away after a few minutes of walking?  

Do you feel pain AFTER exercise or vigorous activities?

Diagnosis

Most likely you are suffering from plantar fasciitis (fashee-eye-tiss). Do not worry; approximately 2 million patientsare treated for this condition every year. Plantar fasciitis is a condition whereby the ligament (plantar fascia) that supports the arch of your foot becomes irritated or inflamed.

Affecting factors 

Usually this condition develops without any specific reason. There are, however, factors that might make a person more prone to this condition. Tighter calf muscles, obesity, very high arch, repetitive impact activity or increased workload are some of the factors which may contribute to plantar fasciitis.

Treatments

There are a few nonsurgical treatments that are known to help. 90% of the patients with plantar fasciitis will improve their quality of life within 10 months by such treatments.

Rest: Decrease or stop completely activities that will exert cause your feet to pound on hard surfaces.

Ice: Place an ice-pack over your heel for 20 minutes. Do at least 3 to 4 times a day for best results.

Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medication: Drugs such as ibuprofen and naproxen reduce pain and inflammation. (Available in Platinum Medical Centre)

Exercise: Plantar fasciitis is aggravated by tight muscles in your feet and calves. Stretching them will help to relieve the pain that comes from this condition.

*You may also click the link to learn more about the stretching exercise.

Steroid injection: Specific steroids are good anti-inflammatory medication. It can be directly injected into the plantar fascia to reduce inflammation and pain. However, there is a limit on the amount of injections given over a span of time as overdose will cause the plantar fascia to tear, which can cause flat foot and chronic pain. (Available in Platinum Medical Centre)

*You may also click the link to see how the injection looks like.

Night Splint: Most people sleep with their feet pointing downwards, hence relaxing their plantar fascia through the night, which causes it to hurt in the morning. A night splint can be used to stretch the plantar fascia while you are sleeping and even though it is uncomfortable, it will reduce the pain that one will feel in the morning.

Supportive shoes: When the heel strikes the ground, it might cause micro-trauma to your foot. Shoes with padding or extra cushioning will help to reduce the tension placed on the fascia .

Surgical treatments will also be considered when the nonsurgical treatments do not work after 12 months.  However, as it is an invasive procedure, there will be risk of complications such as incomplete relief of pain or nerve damage.

For more information, feel free to contact Platinum Medical Centre.

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