Plantar fasciitis and heel pain is caused by over stretching, straining or trauma to the plantar fascia, the fibrous ligament that supports your arch. Repeated strain and minor repetitive injury can cause micro tears in the ligament. The micro tears in the tissue will lead to pain in the heel and possibly the arch of the foot.
Symptoms of Plantar Fasciitis
Plantar Fasciitis occurs on the sole and heel of the foot. It can cause pain along the entire length of the plantar fascia and where the fascia attaches to the heel bone. This area is called the origin of insertion.
Patients often report severe pain on the heels and arches of their feet in the morning, especially the first steps out of bed. The pain usually subsides after a few minutes of walking, although for some the pain will continue all day.
Contributing Factors of Plantar Fasciitis
• Your foot and ankle pronate excessively. Pronation is normal biomechanical action of the foot and ankle. It only becomes a problem when it is excessive and causes over stretching of the plantar fascia. The over stretching is what causes the micro tears in the tissue which results in pain and inflammation.
• Improper shoes – Most people (including doctors) do not know how to select a proper shoe to help treat their heel pain. When shopping for shoes you must look for the following:
A good supportive shoe with a firm rocker sole, firm heel counter, rocker sole and lace up.
Things to consider if you have heel pain -
• You are overweight. For every 10 lbs. of extra weight that you are carrying around, your heels are experiencing thousands of pounds of additional impact throughout the day.
• You walk, run or stand for long periods of time, especially on hard surfaces. Working on uneven surfaces, climbing ladders and walking or running on the beach.
• You have high arches or flat feet.
All of these factors are important when trying to cure your heel pain! Follow the recommendations below to get quick heel pain relief.
Wear proper shoes with an over the counter orthotic. See www.footworks.net for more information on foot orthotics, arch supports and curing your plantar fasciitis.
In severe cases, a corticosteroid injection into the tender area may provide relief. In rare cases, surgery can be performed to release the plantar fascia from its attachment at the heel bone (calcaneus). Remember, there is no turning back after surgery!
Self Care For Plantar Fasciitis – Staying active during heel pain
Rest your feet as much as possible. Avoid running, and excess standing; instead, substitute exercises that do not put stress on the injured plantar fascia, like bicycling or swimming.
Apply ice to the tender area a few times a day to reduce inflammation. Try rolling the arch of the foot over a frozen water bottle, this cools and stretches the painful area.
Insert an over-the-counter arch support or heel support Orthotic into the shoe. Cut a hole in the pad to relieve pressure on the tender area if necessary. Try to avoid walking barefoot, since it may put added stress on the plantar fascia
- What are my contributing factors to plantar fasciitis?
- What is his/her recommendation for treatment?
- What can be done to prevent further injury to the plantar fascia?