Plantar Fasciitis

Plantar fasciitis is the inflammation of the large ligament on the bottom of the sole of the foot. This ligament, the plantar fascia, connects the calcaneous or heel bone to the toes of the foot. Plantar fasciitis occurs in over two million Americans a year. The cause of planatar fasciitis is overuse. The plantar fascia supports the arch of the foot and it most commonly  affects the middle-aged individuals. Younger people who are on their feet a lot, like athletes and soldiers are also high-risk. Plantar fasciitis is caused by straining the ligament (plantar fascia) that supports the arch. If this condition is not treated, the repeated strain can cause small tears within the plantar fascia leading to pain and swelling. Some causes of plantar fasciitis are excessive pronation or flat feet, Cavus foot or high arches, walking or running on hard surfaces, using worn out footwear, having a high body mass index, and even a tight Achilles tendon. Women who are pregnant or individuals that wear flat shoes with inadequate support are also at risk. plantar fasciitis is a painful condition that results in symptoms of pain in the heels and if untreated can spread thru the entire arch. The most common complaints of Plantar fasciitis is burning, stabbing, or aching pain in the heels of the feet. The pain usually occurs on the inside of the heel and is worse first thing in the morning when you get out of  bed due to the tightening of the plantar fascia while sleeping. As the condition becomes more severe, the pain gets worse throughout the day and develops into pain on the outside of the heel. This may occur due to the off loading of the painful side of the by walking on the outside border of the foot. In addition to ligament tears, a bone spur can occur due to the pressures  causing tearing of the plantar fascia where it inserts into the calcaneous or heel bone.

Treatment Options

Treatment options for plantar fasciitis includes rest, inserts , custom orthotics, strappings, stretching, icing, weight loss, night splints, proper shoe wear, physical therapy, anti-inflammatory medications, corticosteriods injections, and surgical intervention. Occasionally xrays are use to rule out other conditions that could contribute to the pain. Custom orthotics are the most effective non-surgical treatment for plantar fasciitis.