Plantar fasciitis is a condition categorized by inflammation and microtearing of the thick band of tissue on the underside of your foot that connects your heel to your toes. As we’ve talked about on the blog in the past, plantar fasciitis discomfort tends to be at its peak after an extended period of inactivity, as this tissue contracts when it’s not being stressed. When you stand up or get out of bed in the morning, this injured and inflamed tissue stretches and tears, causing that initial discomfort.
And while pain doesn’t totally subside, many people say that their symptoms tend to alleviate a bit after their first steps as they go about their days. This can lead to some believing that as long as they can tolerate those first few steps, they don’t need to do anything to proactively treat their plantar fasciitis. This is a poor mindset for a number of reasons. In today’s blog, we explain why it’s so important to proactively treat your plantar fasciitis.
Don’t Ignore Plantar Fasciitis Treatment
Plantar fasciitis is one of those conditions that responds well to proactive treatment and tends to get significantly worse if you keep doing all of the same activities that led to its onset in the first place. Here’s a look at some of the issues that could develop if you don’t treat your plantar fasciitis.
- Worsening Tears – The tears in the inflamed plantar fascia tissue will only continue to worsen if you keep putting stress on the area. The microtears are serving to weaken the plantar fascia, and more pressure can lead to larger tears. It’s similar to a crack in your windshield. If you don’t do anything, that crack will eventually get bigger and bigger. However, unlike a cracked windshield, with proactive steps, you can completely resolve the inflammation and the body can overcome plantar fasciitis.
- Complete Rupture – If you keep putting the inflamed fascia under stress, you’re increasing your risk of suffering a complete rupture. Like any other complete tissue rupture, this will be associated with significant pain. Since the rupture involves a key part of your foot, it will also make the walking process incredibly difficult. If you thought movement was uncomfortable before, it’s nothing compared to how your movement will be compromised if you end up rupturing the fascia.
- Plantar Fibromatosis – Plantar fibromatosis involves the formation of slow-growing nodules along the plantar fascia. Although they are non-cancerous in nature, their development can make walking uncomfortable or even painful, and they may persist even after your plantar fasciitis has resolved. They tend to form as a result of repeated microtears in the fascia, which occurs regularly in untreated plantar fasciitis.
- Heel Spurs – Heel spurs can also develop if plantar fasciitis goes untreated. As a result of your body trying to address the plantar fasciitis on its own, calcium deposits can end up forming at the base of the fascia in your heel. Over time these deposits can grow and turn into full blown heel spurs, which can irritate nearby soft tissues and make walking painful.
Don’t just try to push through your plantar fasciitis, because odds are worsening symptoms and additional conditions will follow as a result of the continued stress on the soft tissue. Instead, connect with a foot and ankle specialist like Dr. McDonald who can help put an end to your plantar fasciitis condition once and for all. For more information on how he can help, or for assistance with a different foot and ankle issue, reach out to Dr. McDonald’s office today at (860) 244-8889.