Definition: Plantar fasciitis is the inflammation of a dense band of thick connective tissue that originates at the heel, extends through the arch and attaches at the toe.

Function: The fascia functions to support the arch of the foot and also acts as a shock -absorber during all weight-bearing activities.

Mechanism of Injury

Plantar fascia tissue fibres become damaged, inflammed or irritated due to sudden trauma or repeated stress (similar to a rope fraying when it is under tension).

Signs & Symptoms

  • Pain is most often experienced at the heel and/or thru the arch of the foot.
  • Morning pain and tightness is often present, and seems to improve with use.
  • Extended standing, walking, or running causes pain to reoccur and is often experienced upon rising after periods of rest

Causes

  • Excessive or extended walking, running, jumping
  • Sudden increase in body weight
  • Improper footwear, or worn out shoes
  • Tight calf muscles and/or plantar fascia
  • Weak foot and ankle muscles
  • Poor foot posture (mechanical alignment)
  • Sudden foot trauma

Pedorthic Treatments

Custom made Orthotics are one of the most effective methods to reduce your plantar facia pain. They are able to redistribute and load the foot in a different way in order to decrease stress to the affected area. Pedorthists use interventions such as a deep heel cups, and a stabilizing arch support, along with shock absorbant cushioning. Proper footwear is also pivotal to your recovery. Talk to your Pedorthist about proper footwear choices for you.

Other Treatment

• STRETCHING: BEFORE standing in the morning, and after any period of rest (such as driving, sitting at a desk)
• ICING: 10-15 minutes after activity to relieve pain and reduce swelling (is best done with a frozen water bottle placed under foot like a rolling pin)
• OTHER TREATMENTS may include anti- inflammatory medication, physiotherapy, massage therapy, dorsi-flexion night splint.

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