Plantar fasciitis is a painful inflammatory process of the plantar fascia, a thick fibrous band of connective tissue originating on the bottom surface of the calcaneus (heel bone) and extending along
the sole of the foot towards the five toes. Pain in the arch or heel often indicates inflammation of the long band of tissue under the foot (the plantar fascia). It can cause sharp pain and
discomfort in either the mid arch region or at the inside heel, and less commonly the outside heel. It frequently causes pain upon rising from rest (especially first thing in the morning) and can
progress to agony by the end of the day. Although plantar fasciitis is the most common cause of this pain, it must be skilfully differentially diagnosed from other conditions via a thorough history
taking and physical examination.
Plantar fasciitis occurs when the thick band of tissue on the bottom of the foot is overstretched or overused. This can be painful and make walking more difficult. You are more likely to get plantar
fasciitis if you Have foot arch problems (both flat feet and high arches), run long distances, downhill or on uneven surfaces, are obese or gain weight suddenly, have a tight Achilles tendon (the
tendon connecting the calf muscles to the heel), wear shoes with poor arch support or soft soles. Plantar fasciitis is seen in both men and women. However, it most often affects active men ages 40 -
70. It is one of the most common orthopedic foot complaints. Plantar fasciitis was commonly thought to be caused by a heel spur. However, research has found that this is not the case. On x-ray, heel
spurs are seen in people with and without plantar fasciitis.
The heel pain characteristic of plantar fasciitis is usually felt on the bottom of the heel and is most intense with the first steps of the day. Individuals with plantar fasciitis often have
difficulty with dorsiflexion of the foot, an action in which the foot is brought toward the shin. This difficulty is usually due to tightness of the calf muscle or Achilles tendon, the latter of
which is connected to the back of the plantar fascia. Most cases of plantar fasciitis resolve on their own with time and respond well to conservative methods of treatment.
To diagnose plantar fasciitis, your doctor will physically examine your foot by testing your reflexes, balance, coordination, muscle strength, and muscle tone. Your doctor may also advise a magnetic
resonance imaging (MRI) or X-ray to rule out other others sources of your pain, such as a pinched nerve, stress fracture, or bone spur.
Non Surgical Treatment
Biomechanical plantar fasciitis can be easily reduced by correcting misalignment of the feet. Wearing orthopedic shoes for plantar fasciitis and orthotic inserts is an easy, effective method of
naturally realigning the foot. Worn consistently from first thing in the morning to last thing at night, orthotic support can reduce and sometimes eliminate plantar fasciitis. Biomechanical plantar
fasciitis can be easily reduced by correcting misalignment of the feet. Wearing orthopedic shoes for plantar fasciitis and orthotic inserts is an easy, effective method of naturally realigning the
foot. Worn consistently from first thing in the morning to last thing at night, orthotic support can reduce and sometimes eliminate plantar fasciitis. Preserve Your Arch with Strengthening Exercises.
While seated and barefoot, squeeze your foot as if you have a small marble under the ball of your foot. If you just happen to have a few marbles handy, you can actually practice picking them up
between your toes and ball of your foot - and then set them down again. This stretches and helps strengthen the muscles that run under metatarsals (the longest bones in the foot which create its
arched shape). Slowly Increase Physical Activity. If you're a runner, a tried and true method of preventing over-use injuries is to only increase your mileage by 10% weekly, max. If youâre new to a
walking program, the same caution should be exercised. Ice and Rest. After mild stretching, use a frozen water bottle to roll under the arch of your foot for 10-20 minutes. It may be possible to make
an active recovery by wearing Orthaheel Technology to keep your feet naturally aligned, therefore reducing strain on the plantar fascia, while moving throughout your day.
Surgery is usually not needed for plantar fasciitis. About 95 out of 100 people who have plantar fasciitis are able to relieve heel pain without surgery. Your doctor may consider surgery if
non-surgical treatment has not helped and heel pain is restricting your daily activities. Some doctors feel that you should try non-surgical treatment for at least 6 months before you consider
surgery. The main types of surgery for plantar fasciitis are Plantar fascia release. This procedure involves cutting part of the plantar fascia ligament . This releases the tension on the ligament
and relieves inflammation . Other procedures, such as removing a heel spur or stretching or loosening specific foot nerves. These surgeries are usually done in combination with plantar fascia release
when there is lasting heel pain and another heel problem. Experts in the past thought that heel spurs caused plantar fasciitis. Now experts generally believe that heel spurs are the result, not the
cause, of plantar fasciitis. Many people with large heel spurs never have heel pain or plantar fasciitis. So surgery to remove heel spurs is rarely done.
You can help to prevent plantar fasciitis by maintaining a healthy weight, by warming up before participating in sports and by wearing shoes that support the arch and cushion the heel. In people who
are prone to episodes of plantar fasciitis, exercises that stretch the heel cord (known as the Achilles tendon) and the plantar fascia may help to prevent plantar fasciitis from returning. Ice
massage also can be used on the bottom of the foot after stressful athletic activities. It is possible that strict control of blood sugar will prevent plantar fasciitis in people with diabetes,
although this has not been proven.