What is it?
The plantar fascia is a strong, inflexible, fibrous band that starts at the heel and then spreads out to connect at the base of the toes. Its purpose is to support the foot. However, with the constant pulling with each step, it can tear away from the heel bone resulting in inflammation, swelling and pain. Long term inflammation may result in the formation of a heel spur. The spur itself is the result of chronic inflammation in that area but is not the cause of pain.
The typical symptoms are pain at the bottom the heel, usually present during the first few steps you take in the morning. It tends to ease until the next time you rest, sit or drive and returns when you try to stand on your feet. It can begin to interrupt daily life and hurt even during rest if left untreated.
What is the Cause?
Plantar fasciitis is a condition that occurs from overuse or excessive stress on the plantar fascia. Some contributors are:
- A flattening of the arches over time
- Tightness in the calf muscles
- An increase in activity level, especially if you have not been active for a period of time
- An increase in body weight
- Wearing improper shoes for your foot shape or shoes that are worn out
- Jumping or stepping down onto a hard surface
- Standing in one spot or standing on a ladder for prolonged periods
How Can it be Treated?
Don’t wait to seek attention. The pain can progress rapidly so treatment should be started early as possible. The longer this condition is left untreated, the more difficult it is to treat. At Clarke Ventresca Foot & Orthotic Centres our chiropodists will help to eliminate your heel pain. Treatment may include stretching and strengthening exercises, taping, custom made orthotics and Shockwave Therapy. In the mean time it is important to wear supportive shoes at all times to allow the plantar fascia to rest and to provide some cushioning for your heel.