Plantar Fasciitis Injury
The “plantar fascia” is a piece of connective tissue that runs from the heel bone (calcaneus) to the base of the toes, on the sloe of your foot. It function is to support the arch of the foot by acting as a bowstring. It connects the ball of the foot to the heel. It also acts as part of the shock-absorbing mechanism of the foot and stabilizes the foot when your toe lifts off.
Signs and symptoms
Symptoms usually develop gradually over a few days or even a few weeks, but they can come on suddenly and be severe. Although plantar fasciitis can affect both feet, it most often occurs in only one foot. You may experience:
|Sharp pain at the bottom of your heel, almost like walking on glass Mild swelling within your foot and around your heel Extreme pain with the first few steps in the morning, going up stairs or standing on tiptoes Pain after long periods of standing or getting up from sitting Post exercise pain || |
Causes for plantar facitis can include over-exercising, medical conditions such as arthritis, and the shape of your foot or footwear.
- Plantar fasciitis is a common condition in long-distance runners. Jogging, walking or even stair climbing can also place too much stress on your foot, causing the attachment to flare or tear resulting in pain. Even household chores, such as moving furniture or large household appliances, can trigger the pain.
- Particular types of arthritis can cause inflammation in the tendons and their attachments in the bottom of your foot, which may lead to plantar fasciitis.
- Being flat-footed, or having a high arch, or even having an abnormal pattern of walking, can affect the way your foot works, putting stress on the plantar fascia.
- Poor quality shoes that are thin-soled, loose, high heeled or lack arch support don't support the normal movement of your foot which can contribute to causing strain on the plantar fascia.
- Wearing a splint fitted to your calf and foot while you sleep, to stretch the fascia, tendons and surrounding tissue. This holds them in a lengthened position overnight so that they can be stretched more effectively.
- Your doctor, physical therapist or podiatrist may prescribe off-the-shelf or make custom-fitted orthotics to help distribute pressure to your feet more effectively. Shoes of a particular brand or fitting may be prescribed also.
- Physical therapy can provide you with a series of exercises and stretches designed to decrease pain, improve range of motion and strengthen lower leg muscles, all of which will help your ankle and heel.
- As a last resort, when other treatments haven’t worked, your doctor or physical therapist may suggest injections of corticosteroid into the plantar fascia attachment at the heel to provide temporary relief. When all else fails, surgery (a plantar fasciotomy) to detach the plantar fascia from the heel bone may be an option when the pain is severe and debilitating and every other treatment method has been exhausted.