Plantar Fasciitis: Symptoms and Treatment
Plantar Fasciitis is a painful, inflammatory condition that causes heel and arch pain that can sometimes lead to hell spurs.
Plantar Fasciitis Symptoms
Many symptoms occur in relation to Plantar Fasciitis most common is pain usually felt on the underside of the heel. This pain is often most intense with the first steps after getting out of bed in the morning. It is most commonly associated with long periods of weight bearing activity or sudden changes in weight bearing activity.
Plantar Fasciitis also referred to as “policeman’s heel” is represented by a sharp, stabbing pain along the bottom or front of the heel bone. In most cases, heel pain is more severe following periods of inactivity (e.g. when getting out of bed). The pain will often subside, turning into a dull ache.
What Causes Plantar Fasciitis?
Plantar Fasciitis is commonly caused by over pronation of the foot. Some of the contributing factors are:
- • Obesity
- • Sudden weight gain
- • Employment requiring a lot of walking and/or standing on hard surfaces
- • Badly worn or improperly fit shoes with little to no support
- • Long periods of inactivity
As a result of over-pronation, with every step the Plantar Fascia (band of tissue under the foot) is being stretched, resulting in inflammation, irritation and pain at the attachment of the fascia into the heel bone. In some cases the pain is felt under the foot and within the arch. Continuous pulling of the fascia at the heel bone may eventually lead to the development of a bony growth on the heel, a.k.a. a heel spur
So why does it hurt so much in after sleep?
When you’re at rest (sleeping) the Plantar Fascia tightens and shortens. When body weight is rapidly applied to the foot, the Fascia must stretch and quickly lengthen. This causes little, micro-tears within the Fascia. As a result, the foot pain is more severe with your first steps in the morning, or after sitting for a long period.
Plantar Fasciitis is more likely to happen if:
- • You suffer from over-pronation (flattening of the arch)
- • You stand or walk on hard surfaces for long periods
- • You are overweight or pregnant
- • You have tight calf muscles
Treatment and relief from Plantar Fasciitis
Plantar Fasciitis, heel pain, heel spurs and arch pain can be treated with simple, non-surgical methods. The most common pain relief solutions are:
- • Rest – avoid prolonged activity, such as walking, running & sports
- • Ice – apply ice for only 5 mins, allowing the foot inflammation to cool down
- • Weight loss – A safe weight loss program can remedy many of our ailments today
- • Stretching exercises
- • Orthotic Shoe Inserts*
*The most effective solution for Plantar Fasciitis is to treat the cause of the problem by correcting abnormal foot mechanics with orthotic shoe inserts. Shoe inserts help release the tension on the Plantar Fascia thereby treating the cause, and not merely the symptoms, of Plantar Fasciitis.