Plantar fasciitis is an irritation of the ligament running along the bottom of the foot and attaching to the heel. Plantar fasciitis is sometimes worse in the morning upon arising or after inactivity, sometimes disabling, can occur in the front (arch area), back or bottom of the heel. Plantar fasciitis pain is generally the result of faulty biomechanics (walking gait abnormalities) that place too much stress on the heel bone and the soft tissues that attach to it. The stress from plantar fasciitis may also result from injury, or a bruise incurred while walking, running, or jumping on hard surfaces; wearing poorly constructed footwear; or being overweight.
The symptoms of Plantar Fasciitis are:
Pain on the bottom of the heel
Pain that is usually worse upon arising
Pain that increases over a period of months
People with plantar fasciitis often describe the pain as worse when they get up in the morning or after they've been sitting for long periods of time. After a few minutes of walking the pain decreases, because walking stretches the fascia. For some people the pain subsides but returns after spending long periods of time on their feet.
Causes of Plantar Fasciitis
The most common cause of plantar fasciitis relates to faulty structure of the foot. For example, people who have problems with their arches-either overly flat feet or high-arched feet are more prone to developing plantar fasciitis.
Wearing non-supportive footwear on hard, flat surfaces puts abnormal strain on the plantar fascia and can also lead to plantar fasciitis. This is particularly evident when a person's job requires long hours on their feet. Obesity also contributes to plantar fasciitis.
Diagnostic imaging studies such as x-rays, a bone scan, or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) may be used to distinguish the different types of heel pain. Sometimes heel spurs are found in patients with plantar fasciitis, but these are rarely a source of pain. When they are present, the condition may be diagnosed as plantar fasciitis/heel spur syndrome.
RECOMMENDATIONS: A podiatrist can evaluate arch and heel pain and may prescribe customized shoe inserts called orthoses to help alleviate the pain. We recommend rest, supportive shoes, ice, and the Powerstep Arch supports. Many people find this as an affordable solution and will purchase several pairs for different shoes.