Being one of the body’s anatomically complex parts, the feet are highly prone to numerous medical conditions. One of these infamous conditions is a familiar pain somewhere around your heel called plantar fasciitis.
Unfortunately, about an estimated quarter of the US population suffers from this condition, and the number of cases is only getting higher. What is worse about plantar fasciitis is that it gets severe as you age. However, when it comes to discussions about plantar fascia, why is RA more or less brought up? Due to the nature of rheumatoid arthritis, it is one condition that actually makes plantar fasciitis more common.
Plantar fasciitis is commonly associated with RA for several reasons, one being the location of the pain and inflammation. Regarding the diagnosis for these two conditions, it is important to properly distinguish them from each other as treatments and remedies differ significantly. When it comes to diagnoses, the quicker it is, the sooner the problem can be addressed and not lead to other unwelcomed conditions.
Everything on What Plantar Fasciitis Is
Before going in-depth concerning RA and the prevention or management of this condition, you first have to know what’s really going on inside your body. From the very nature of plantar fasciitis to its causes, it is essential to go back to the basics. Although it may easily be put aside as a common heel pain, this condition might be something more if not taken care of early on.
Aside from being infamously known as the culprit behind heel pain, plantar fasciitis is the inflammation of tissues across the bottom of your foot. The thick and web-like ligament connecting your heel to your toes is what’s known as the plantar fascia, and this is ground-zero. Plantar fasciitis can be diagnosed as a sharp, stabbing burst of pain after long hours of inaction, such as sitting down or sleeping.
Also, it’s worth noting that the pain doesn’t linger for long periods as long as you keep moving. Usually, the most common cases occur immediately after waking up and taking your first few steps. Throughout the day, you may start to feel the pain slowly fading away since plantar fascia pains usually subside with frequent movements. However, the pain might come back after exposing your muscles to lengthy periods of sitting down or idle standing.
Common causes and remedies
Other than prolonged hours of no movement, there are many more causes of this condition, and it revolves around the idea of wear-and-tear. Basically, since the pain is caused within the muscles constantly being stretched out or being under constant stress, it may tear or become worn-out. Keep in mind that this tissue is shaped like a bowstring, which acts as a support for your foot and as a shock-absorber.
Accumulated stress and tension on the bowstring may cause a tear in the tissue, and neglect may make it worse on the fascia. The factors of age, types of exercises, body weight, and foot-shape all dictate the risks of plantar fasciitis. In order to reduce the pain of this condition, maintaining a healthy weight, getting more-cushioned shoes, and physical therapy may do the trick. Additionally, when it comes to exercises, you shouldn’t jog if you’re heavy since it’ll put more stress on the foot.
Everything About Rheumatoid Arthritis
Moving on to another closely linked condition when it comes to foot pain, aside from plantar fasciitis, rheumatoid arthritis can also cause heel pain. Both conditions, although varying in nature, are similar considering the area of the pain, as well as the pain itself. However, it’s still essential to know the difference and how they interact with one another to prevent further worsening of the problem.
Unlike plantar fasciitis, rheumatoid arthritis’s nature is an autoimmune disease that causes numerous joint damage and pain throughout the body. Usually, the joint pain isn’t only one-sided as it is with plantar fasciitis. This is one of the key diagnoses that doctors look for when distinguishing RA from the other long lists of arthritis and injuries.
As for its treatment, the best way to manage this condition is a regular trip to your local doctor since early diagnosis is best. However, there are some home remedies you can try out from home. Some of the common and simple ones are getting enough rest, using heat and cold compress, and exercising. For exercises, though, opt for a more static and strength-centered workout. This is because low-impact movements are important in improving your joints and reducing the chance of injuries.
Effect on plantar fasciitis
Since you now know about the similarities, differences, and nature of RA and plantar fasciitis, it will be easier to understand how one affects the other. The fact that RA is a chronic autoimmune disease that causes joint pains and inflammation, people diagnosed with RA are more prone to plantar fasciitis. These two conditions are connected because RA makes your joints vulnerable to pain, and the slightest tear may just result in a plantar fascia tear.
Aside from being prone to tears, RA sufferers often form bunions and corn on their feet, and the sufferer may soon start to develop curled and stiff toes. Moreover, because RA inherently leaves your joints vulnerable to tears and inflammation, plantar fasciitis may easily be one wrong foot-landing away.
Both the conditions of rheumatoid arthritis and plantar fasciitis are equally concerning cases of feet pain, so either one should not be left untreated or neglected. Although there are numerous home remedies that may do the trick, nothing beats a regular trip to the doctors to ensure you’re in tip-top shape. However, now that you’re a little more knowledgeable about how RA affects susceptibility to plantar fasciitis, you can take proper caution. Just as the saying goes, prevention is always better than cure
Do you have RA? You can find out with a simple blood test. The Rheumatoid Factor Test is often the first test ordered when rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is suspected. Although both RA and Sjogren’s syndrome can be diagnosed based on clinical signs and symptoms, this test can help distinguish between types of arthritis and other conditions that produce similar symptoms (joint pain, stiffness, and inflammation, among others). A CCP Blood Test may also be ordered to confirm an RA diagnosis, particularly if the RF test is negative.