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Plantar Fasciitis

What is Plantar Fasciitis ?

Plantar Fasciitis is a painful condition caused by trauma to the plantar fascia a long, ligmament like stucture that runs from the ball of the foot, through the arch to the heel.

Plantar Fasciitis

Plantar fasciitis is also commonly known as heel spurs although they are not exactly the same. A heel spur is a bony growth that grows from the attachment of the plantar fascia to the heel bone in the direction of the fascia band. It grows because of repeated pulling stress encouraging the bone to develop further forward.  It is quite common for those with plantar fasciitis to not have a spur or for someone with a spur to have no pain.

What are the Signs and Symptoms?

* Heel pain, generally directly under the pad of the heel.
* Pain may be felt all through the arch as well
* Pain is often worse first thing in the morning as the fascia shrinks a little overnight (the opposite of what an athlete would do when ‘warming up’).
* This first step pain usually lessens markedly after a few minutes it eases as the foot gets warmed up.
* The pain will often worsen throughout the day with activity.

Plantar fasciitis or heel spurs are common in active people and with increasing age, particularly once you pass the ‘magic age’ of 35 years when collagen strength starts to rapidly decrease. The condition of excessive pronation (feet rolling in or flat feet) will move the two attachments of the plantar fascia more distant from each other and is the major factor in creating the elongation stress that brings about the pain and damage. Additional body weight, occupations that involve a lot of standing and living or working on hard floors also can contribute.

Immediate relief.

If the area is very painful, a simple taping technique can help quickly – often reducing pain by 50 % the next day. Icing the area can help as can stretches of the calf muscle.  Heavy stretching can stir up the pain though and is best left until the area has begun to improve.  In the place of stretching, you can ‘cheat’ by simply avoiding bare feet and very flat shoes.  Opting instead for a heel height of between 1 cm to 2.5 cm will help a lot.

Long Term Correction.

You are best advised to come visit us as early in the process as possible.  A lot can be done to cure your plantar fasciitis pain in the short term and stop further occurances of it making you put your life on hold.