The “Plantar fascia” is a fibrous band running from the undersurface of your heel to the ball of your foot. “Plantar fasciitis” is a painful inflammation of this tissue caused by chronic overstretching and mild tearing.

We commonly associate plantar fasciitis with fallen arches of the foot. To understand how this happens, cup your hand to make a “C” shape. This represents a foot with a high arch. Imagine a band running from your fingertips to your wrist. This represents plantar fascia. Now, straighten your fingers to simulate what happens when the arch “falls.” When this happens in your foot, the plantar fascia is stretched and can begin to tear away from your heel.

Plantar fasciitis affects 10% of the population and is more common in women. Approximately one-fourth of patients have the problem in both feet at the same time. People who place excessive stress on their feet by being overweight, standing for long periods, or taking part in endurance sports are more likely to develop the condition as well. Shoes without adequate arch support, including sandals or going barefoot, increase your chances of developing plantar fasciitis. Wearing high-heeled shoes or boots may contribute to the problem.

The most common symptom of plantar fasciitis is a pain in the heel or arch when standing up after a period of inactivity, particularly first thing in the morning. When you are sleeping, the arch is in a relaxed or shortened state, and the plantar fascia can heal. When you stand up first thing in the morning, you stretch the fascia, once again tearing it away from its attachment on the heel. The condition may progress to where you experience pain throughout the day, even while resting. The pain often eases after you walk for a period, only to redevelop once you are no longer on your feet. You may notice some tenderness when you touch your heel, and you probably have tight calf and hamstring muscles as well.

Plantar fasciitis can be a frustrating condition, often lasting 18 months or more if left untreated. Fortunately, you may recover more quickly with the proper treatment we provide at our office.

Credit: Information on this page provided by ChiroUp.

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