posted on 12 Mar 2014 01:42 by gainheight
So what causes the Plantar Fascia to become inflamed? There are a number of various reasons for this to occur. For example, you are more likely to develop Plantar Fasciitis, if you are over 50 years old, if you're overweight, or pregnant, or if you have a job that requires a lot of walking or standing on hard surfaces. You're also at risk if you do a lot of walking or running for exercise (overuse injury). And if you have tight calf muscles (which a lot of people have) you're also more likely to develop Plantar Fasciitis.
With failure of the above treatment "shock wave" therapy can be used. It has only been used for resistant heel pain which has been present for more than 6 months and not responded to orthotics, physical therapy, casting, and other therapeutic measures. In my personal experience I have not found it necessary to recommend this often, since the current therapies work so well. I'd have one strong recommendation for those who have had orthotics that have not worked and have tried all the advice recommended above. In my practice I often use laminated leather orthotics with a deep heel cup.
Normally the Plantar Fascia is very tough and flexible to withstand forces transmitted during walking or running. The normal function can be however affected by excessive abuse of the feet, over-pronation, old age or being over-weight. As a result of the painful stretching the Plantar Fascia exhibits micro-tearing that leads to irritation, inflammation and pain at the junction of the Plantar Fascia and calcaneus or heel bone. The continued pulling of the Fascia joined to the heel bone can result in a bony growth on the heel commonly known as a Heel Spur. This growth triggers pain in the surrounding tissues that get inflamed.
There are many factors that can lead to an occurrence or re-occurrence of plantar fasciitis. Although plantar fasciitis can influence mechanical malfunctions of the foot during movement, as already mentioned, these malfunctions can also cause plantar fasciitis. Having flat feet, for example, is a common condition where the arch of the foot drops. The result is abnormal wear and tear on the plantar fascia that can lead to a damaged fascia. Pronation, high arches, and a tight Achilles tendon are also biomechanical factors that can add stress and pull the plantar fascia too much, causing tears in the tissue.
Icing your heel will decrease inflammation that accumulates while you walk during the day, and to prevent more inflammation while you sleep. Apply ice to the sore area for 20 minutes two or three times a day to relieve your symptoms. Do not go barefoot or wear flip-flops. Only wear shoes with a moderate heel that do not bend through the arch. Always wear shoes when walking, even in the home. If you have custom orthotics, or over-the-counter inserts, wear them in your shoes at all times. The majority of people with plantar fasciitis improve tremendously after just two months of initial treatment.
The plantar fascia is a basically inflexible, strong, fibrous band on the lower partof the foot. This band helps keep the sophisticated arch system of the foot, it is a shock absorber, participates in one's balance and in the different phases of gait. The plantar fascia transfer the weight across the lower part of the foot every step you are taking. At the moment the ankle of the trailing foot begins to lift off the ground, the plantar fascia band endures stress that is close to twice body weight. If the calf muscles are stiff than the stress is increased.
I tried customized orthotics that I wore in my shoes for a while that seemed to cause more problems than I began with. I got them altered every two weeks but ended up with pain in different and additional places in my foot. The Strassburg Sock helped some but it wasn't that comfortable to sleep in. Its a sock with a strap that pulls your foot toward your shin that helps stretch out the bottom of your foot. My foot felt a little better but I was not well rested, so not worth the trade off.
The heel locus for trouble is one reason why plantar fasciitis is often associated with 'heel spurs'. Those 'spurs' are simply wads of calcium deposited at the site where the fascia suffers most damage. The heel agitations also explain why the clinical manifestation of plantar fasciitis is usually strong discomfort at the bottom of the heel bone. More specifically, the person suffering from plantar fasciitis will often feel a pinpoint, knife-like pain at the 'medial tubercle' of the calcaneus (heel bone), which happens to be the exact location of the origin of the inside part of the plantar fascia.
Plantar Fasciitis is a rather common condition of the foot causing significant heel pain and proximal foot arch pain. The most common presentation of plantar fasciitis is when a patient experiences pain with their first step in the morning. This initial step incurs the most pain that the patient will feel throughout the day, but there will be continual pain in those who suffer from plantar fasciitis Typically people describe the pain as relating to the sensation of walking on glass. These initial steps incur tremendous pain near the proximal aspect of their foot where the plantar fascia inserts into the heel bone.
Night splinting is another treatment which aims to stretch out the plantar fascia. As its name suggests, a night splint is a device you wear while you sleep which keeps your ankle dorsiflexed. The theory is that the “first-step pain” that is the hallmark of plantar fasciitis is caused by the arch healing at night without any tension on it. In the morning, the healing is disrupted by the tension put on the arch when you get out of bed. “The Sock” is a regular knee-high sock with a strap that runs from the toes to the kneecap.