Plantar fasciitis is thickening of the plantar fascia, a band of tissue running underneath the sole of the foot. The thickening can be due to recent damage or injury, or can be because of an
accumulation of smaller injuries over the years. Plantar fasciitis can be painful.
Plantar fasciitis is a painful disorder in the lower part of your foot usually around the heel. That pain usually hurts as you get up in the morning when you try to stand on your feet, or after any
periods of inactivity. It is a disorder of a tough and strong band that connects the heel bone to the toes. Plantar Fasciitis is caused by injuring that tough band on the bottom of the foot. The
following may be the causes of plantar fasciitis. Tight calf muscles or tight Achilles tendon produces repetitive over-stretching of the plantar fascia. Gait and balance Problem may be a dominant
cause of this disorder. Many people have a special style of walking, with something unique that causes some kind of imbalance in their body. It might be something like locked knees, feet that
turn-out, a weak abdomen etc. This imbalance may place some pressure on the fascia, which eventually causes plantar fasciitis. Weak foot muscles donât give enough support to the plantar fascia. The
small muscles in the foot give the foot its shape by keeping the bones in place and by expanding and contracting to make a movement. Weak foot muscles will allow greater stress on the fascia. Foot
anatomical problems such as flat feet or high arches can make the fascia ligament work or stretch abnormally. Flattening of the fat pad at the sole of the feet under the heels is a Degeneration
process that is caused by poor footwear or by age. Shoes that have no proper heel cup can flatten that fat pad quite quickly and cause this disorder. Walking in shoes which do not have good arch
support is considered to be a cause of plantar fasciitis. Wearing inadequate or worn out shoes may place more stress on the fascia ligament. If you wear shoes that don't fit you by size or width, you
may put your feet under excessive stress. Overweight Men and women are more vulnerable to developing the condition because of the excess weight on the foot. Pregnant women are at risk due to gaining
weight through pregnancy and due to the pregnancy hormones that make ligaments loosen and relax. Sudden increase of activity like starting to run long distance or complete change of daily activity
can cause heel pain and this disorder. Practice of repetitive athletic activities, like long distance running, playing a ball game, dancing or jumping, is a common cause for the disorder. Actually it
is considered as one of the most common running injuries. Spending long periods of time on your feet everyday can cause plantar fasciitis. Working on your feet a few hours a day evey day may be the
reason for your heel pain.
The most obvious symptom of plantar fasciitis is a sharp pain on the bottom of the foot, near the heel. Here are some signals that this pain may be plantar fasciitis. The pain is strongest first
thing in the morning but gets better after a few minutes of walking around. The pain is worse after standing for a long time or after getting up from sitting. The pain develops gradually and becomes
worse over time. The pain is worse after exercise or activity than it is during activity. It hurts when stretching the foot. It hurts when pressing on the sides of the heel or arch of the foot.
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
A change to properly fitting, appropriate shoes may be useful in some patients. Some individuals wear shoes that are too small, which can exacerbate many types of foot pain. Patients often find that
wearing shoes with thicker, well-cushioned midsoles, usually made of a material like high-density ethylene vinyl acetate (such as is found in many running shoes), decreases the pain associated with
long periods of walking or standing. Studies have shown that with age, running shoes lose a significant portion of their shock absorption. Thus, simply getting a new pair of shoes may be helpful in
decreasing pain. For individuals with flat feet, motion control shoes or shoes with better longitudinal arch support may decrease the pain associated with long periods of walking or standing. Motion
control shoes usually have the following characteristics: a straight last, board or combination lasted construction, an external heel counter, a wider flare and extra medial support. A change in
shoes was cited by 14 percent of patients with plantar fasciitis as the treatment that worked best for them.
The majority of patients, about 90%, will respond to appropriate non-operative treatment measures over a period of 3-6 months. Surgery is a treatment option for patients with persistent symptoms, but
is NOT recommended unless a patient has failed a minimum of 6-9 months of appropriate non-operative treatment. There are a number of reasons why surgery is not immediately entertained including.
Non-operative treatment when performed appropriately has a high rate of success. Recovery from any foot surgery often takes longer than patients expect. Complications following this type of surgery
can and DO occur! The surgery often does not fully address the underlying reason why the condition occurred therefore the surgery may not be completely effective. Prior to surgical intervention, it
is important that the treating physician ensure that the correct diagnosis has been made. This seems self-evident, but there are other potential causes of heel pain. Surgical intervention may include
extracorporeal shock wave therapy or endoscopic or open partial plantar fasciectomy.