Plantar Fasciitis and What You Should Know
Plantar fasciitis is one of the most common causes of heel pain. To be more specific, plantar fasciitis means that your plantar fascia is inflamed.
Your plantar fascia, like a ligament, is a strong band of tissue that stretches from your heel (calcaneum) to your middle foot bones. It also supports the arch of your foot and acts as a shock-absorber in your foot.
What causes plantar fasciitis?
Repeated small injuries to the fascia that may or may not come with inflammation are thought to be the cause of plantar fasciitis. The injury is usually near the area where the plantar fascia attaches to the heel bone. There are situations wherein you are more likely to injure your plantar fascia:
- If you have recently started exercising on a different surface – running on the road instead of a track.
- If you are on your feet for prolonged periods of time.
- If you do a lot of walking, running and/or standing.
- If you are overweight – this puts extra strain on your heel.
- If you have been wearing shoes with poor arch support or cushioning.
- If there is sudden stretching or overuse of your sole.
- If you have a tight Achilles tendon – this affects your ability to flex your ankle and make you prone to damaging your plantar fascia.
Plantar fasciitis might be confused with ‘Policeman’s heel’ but the two are different. Policeman’s heel is plantar calcaneal bursitis – inflammation of the sac of fluid under the heel bone. This foot condition is not as common as plantar fasciitis.
How common is plantar fasciitis?
This foot condition is common. Around 1 in 10 people will develop this foot problem at some point in their life. It is most common in people aged 40 to 60 years. However, it can still occur at any age. It is also twice as common in women as it is in men as well as in athletes.
What are the symptoms of plantar fasciitis?
The main symptom of this foot problem is pain that can be anywhere on the underside of your heel. However, one spot is found as the main source of pain commonly. It is often about 4cm forward from your heel, and it might be tender to touch.
The pain is often worst upon getting up in the morning when you take your first steps or when you take long periods of rest where no weight is placed on your foot. Gentle exercises might ease things a little as the day goes by. However, being on your feet for a long time or a long walk often makes the pain worse. Resting your foot, on the other hand, usually, eases the pain.
For more information on plantar fasciitis, please click here: Heel Spur Pain, Plantar Fasciitis Treatment by Toronto Ontario Podiatrist Sheldon H. Nadal D.P.M.