An inflammation of a thick band of tissue that connects the heel bone to the toes
Plantar Fasciitis is the most common cause of heel pain.
Plantar Fasciitis Facts & Information
The plantar fascia is the flat band of tissue (ligament) that connects your heel bone to your toes. It supports the arch of your foot and if you strain your plantar fascia, it gets weak, swollen, and irritated (inflamed).The fibrous band of tissue that runs along the bottom of the foot (the plantar) from the heel bone to the toes is called the fascia. The plantar fascia contribute to the foot’s stability and movement. When it becomes inflamed or experiences little tears due to overuse or stress, people often feel pain in the heel since that is usually where the inflammation or micro-tearing occurs.
Heel pain should not be ignored since chronic inflammation can weaken the fascia and make it more prone to tearing, and conversely, the little tears can make the fascia more susceptible to inflammation. Chronic plantar fasciitis can lead to other joint issues if your gait changes to compensate for the heel pain.
How & Why Plantar Fasciitis Develops
The plantar fascia is the flat band of tissue (ligament) that connects your heel bone to your toes. It supports the arch of your foot and if you strain your plantar fascia, it gets weak, swollen, and irritated (inflamed).
Because the plantar fascia relax and shorten while we sleep, people often experience pain when they step out of bed in the morning and put weight on their feet and stretch the plantar fascia. This may also occur after sitting for prolonged periods of time.
Runners (and walkers) often experience plantar fasciitis since each stride causes the plantar fascia to stretch and contract. Repeated stretching and contracting can cause the plantar fasciitis to become inflamed or tear. Runners and athletes with plantar fasciitis may notice heel pain that gets progressively worse during a workout.
The most common symptoms of patients with Plantar Fasciitis include:
-Sharp pain and/or tenderness in the heel behind the arch of the foot
-Pain while stepping out of bed in the morning and putting weight on the feet
-Progressive heel pain during a workout
Since Plantar Fasciitis can be caused by a number of factors – from age, certain type of exercise, foot mechanics, obesity and occupation that keeps you on your feet – an accurate diagnosis is the key to determining the most appropriate treatment plan. To reach an accurate diagnosis of Plantar Fasciitis, the following might be completed by one our physicians:
-Complete medical history of your symptoms
-A comprehensive physical examination will be performed
-X-ray, ultrasound or MRI is recommended to rule out the possibility of a broken heel bone or soft tissue injuries
The type and extent of treatment often depends on factors such as your age, activity level, overall health and severity of the condition.