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Plantar Fasciosis (Fasciitis)

Are you experiencing heel pain? It might be plantar fasciosis (fasciitis).

What is the plantar fascia?

Plantar fasciitis is one of the most common causes of heel pain. Let’s start by defining the plantar fascia. The plantar fascia is a strong band of tissue designed to support the arch of the foot. It connects the heel to the front of the foot. When it becomes inflamed, the condition is called plantar fasciitis. Newer research now prefers the term plantar fasciosis because this accounts for more than just inflammation. It takes into consider degeneration which is now thought to be the more prominent cause of the condition.

What causes it to break down?

There are many things that can cause this fascia to break down. Although it is designed to withstand high stresses placed on it through activities of daily life like walking, running, and playing sports, it can often experience tears when this pressure gets too high. Our body’s natural response to most injuries is inflammation and when the fascia experiences damage or tears, the possible inflammation and degeneration can result in heel pain and stiffness.

Are there risk factors?

Although plantar fasciosis (fasciitis) can develop without any identifiable cause, there are some risk factors that can increase your susceptibility such as:

  • New or increased levels of activity
  • Repetitive high impact activity
  • Standing for extended periods of time on hard surfaces
  • Having flat feet or high arches
  • Tight calf muscles
  • Obesity
  • Age (most common in those aged 40-60 years)

What are the symptoms?

The most common symptoms include pain at the bottom on the foot near the heel. The first few steps in the morning are often most painful but the pain tends to subside with a few minutes of walking. Another symptom to look out for is increased pain after exercising as opposed to during.

What can I do?

Stretching the calf muscles and the fascia itself can be beneficial. Working on the intrinsic muscles and joints of the foot is something a chiropractor or massage therapist can help with. Orthotics are another treatment option that can help decrease the tension placed on the fascia which in turn can reduce the amount of microtrauma being experienced. To find out the cause of your heel pain and the best treatment option designed just for you, book an appointment today!