Plantar Fasciitis is one of the most common causes of heel pain, it involves the thick band of connective tissue (Plantar Fascia) which runs along the bottom of your foot connecting your heel bone to your toes. The plantar fascia supports both the muscles and the arch of your foot.
Plantar Fasciitis causes pain in your heel which is predominantly worse when you take your first steps in the morning or when you walk after sitting for a long period of time. It usually feels better with a little bit of activity and once you warm up but this will worsen after spending long periods of time on your feet.
The main cause for plantar fasciitis is when the fascia is overly stretched, it can result in tiny tears in the surface of the facia, bringing on the symptoms of inflammation and pain.
Individuals at a greater risk of getting plantar fascitis are:
– 40 – 60 years of age
– Tight/Short Achilles Tendon
– Abnormal Gait
– Wear high heels
– Spend’s prolonged hours standing daily
– Wear old/worn out shoes
Diagnosis for plantar fasciitis is fairly simply and can be diagnosed by your doctor based on your symptoms, yet they may want to confirm there isn’t something else causing the problem and ruling that out with the use of X-rays.
Your initial treatment plan will follow the RICE principles.
Rest (Stop doing activities which make the pain worse)
Ice (Help with the pain and inflammation response)
Compression (Help with any swelling that may be caused due to the natural inflammation response)
Elevate (Help with blood flow and drainage)
Other methods of treatment will involve taking non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, the use of night splints to help stretch your calf and foot while you sleep, use of supportive shoes or inserts as well as seeing your biokineticist for exercise therapy. Your therapist will give you specific exercises which will help stretch your fascia and achilles tendon as well as strengthen your leg muscles which will assist in making your ankle and heel more stable.