Plantar fasciitis is an inflammation of the long band of connective tissue running from the heel to the ball of the foot. The plantar fascia acts like a bowstring and supports the arch and several
muscles inside the foot. When there is increased stress on the arch, microscopic tears can occur within the plantar fascia, usually at its attachment on the heel. This results in inflammation and
with standing and walking and sometimes at rest.
Age plays a large role in the development of heel pain, particularly among those over 40. Being active is also a common factor of heel pain. Over time, the elasticity of the tissue in our feet
decreases with age, causing us to become prone to damage and also slowing the body's ability to heal damage. Adolescents are also not immune to heel pain. Those who are active in sports are
particularly prone to excessively stretching or straining the plantar fascia or Achilles tendon, causing severe heel pain. In most cases, heel pain develops in only one heel. There are many risk
factors that lead to heel pain. Abnormal gait and excessive, repetitive stress are common factors in the development of pain and damage. Among the other risk factors involved with the development of
heel pain are repetitive exercise or activities, such as long distance running or jumping from activities such as basketball. Obesity. Walking barefoot on hard surfaces. Prolonged standing. Wearing
poor fitting shoes, or shoes that do not provide enough support or cushioning. Not stretching properly or at all before and after exercise. Those who are on their feet for long periods of time.
Symptoms of plantar fasciitis vary, but the classic symptom is pain after rest--when you first get out of bed in the morning, or when you get up after sitting down for a while during the day. The
pain usually diminishes after a few minutes of walking, sometimes even disappearing, but the pain is commonly felt again the longer you're on the foot. Fasciitis can be aggravated by shoes that lack
appropriate support, especially in the arch area, and by the chronic irritation of long-periods of standing, especially on concrete, by being overweight. It doesn't help that fascia doesn't heal
particularly quickly because it has relatively poor circulation (which is why it's white in colour).
Your doctor will perform a physical exam and ask questions about your medical history and symptoms, such as have you had this type of heel pain before? When did your pain begin? Do you have pain upon
your first steps in the morning or after your first steps after rest? Is the pain dull and aching or sharp and stabbing? Is it worse after exercise? Is it worse when standing? Did you fall or twist
your ankle recently? Are you a runner? If so, how far and how often do you run? Do you walk or stand for long periods of time? What kind of shoes do you wear? Do you have any other symptoms? Your
doctor may order a foot x-ray. You may need to see a physical therapist to learn exercises to stretch and strengthen your foot. Your doctor may recommend a night splint to help stretch your foot.
Surgery may be recommended in some cases.
Non Surgical Treatment
Depending on the underlying cause, treatment can include. Rest from activities that stress the heel (such as running and jumping). Ice packs. Regular foot massage, concentrating on the arch of the
foot. Professional strapping. A splint worn at night. Flexibility exercises. Ultrasound therapy. Anti-inflammatory medicine (topical or oral). Checking your posture and walking style, to correct
imbalances and gait abnormalities that may contribute to the pain. Shoe inserts (orthoses) to help support the foot. In some cases, surgery may be recommended to treat conditions including neuroma,
bursitis and heel spurs.
At most 95% of heel pain can be treated without surgery. A very low percentage of people really need to have surgery on the heel. It is a biomechanical problem and it?s very imperative that you not
only get evaluated, but receive care immediately. Having heel pain is like having a problem with your eyes; as you would get glasses to correct your eyes, you should look into orthotics to correct
your foot. Orthotics are sort of like glasses for the feet. They correct and realign the foot to put them into neutral or normal position to really prevent heel pain, and many other foot issues.
Whether it be bunions, hammertoes, neuromas, or even ankle instability, a custom orthotic is something worth considering.
Wearing real good, supportive shoes are a great way to avoid heel pain. Usually, New Balance is a good shoe to wear, just for everyday shoe gear. By wearing proper footwear and performing thorough
stretches, athletes can help prevent frequent heel pain. If you are starting to get a little discomfort or pain in the feet or heel, know that pain is not normal. So if you are having pain, you
should be proactive and visit our office. If you let heel pain get out of control you could run into several other problems. It is always suggested to visit a podiatrist whenever you are experiencing