Plantar Fasciitis is a painful inflammatory condition causing chronic heel pain. In some cases, it may also result in arch pain.
The pain usually is felt on the underside of the heel, and is often most intense with your first steps when getting out of bed in the morning. Plantar Fasciitis is presented by a sharp stabbing pain at the bottom or front of the heel bone. In most cases, heel pain is more severe following periods of inactivity (resting or sleeping) when getting up and then it subsides, turning into a dull ache.
What causes Plantar Fasciitis?
This common foot complaint is mainly caused by abnormal pronation of the foot. Contributing factors are age, weight gain, jobs that require a lot of walking or standing on hard surfaces, badly worn shoes with little support, and also inactivity.
As a result of over-pronation with every step you take the plantar fascia (band of tissue under the foot) is being stretched, resulting in inflammation, irritation and pain at the attachment of the fascia into the heel bone. In some cases the pain is felt under the foot, in the arch area.
Continuous pulling of the fascia at the heel bone eventually may lead to the development of bony growth on the heel. This is called a heel spur. During rest (e.g. when you're asleep), the plantar fascia tightens and shortens.
When body weight is rapidly applied to the foot, the fascia must stretch and quickly lengthen, causing micro-tearing of the tissue. Hence, the pain is more severe with your first steps in the morning or after sitting for a long period.
Over-stretching of the Plantar Fascia is more likely to happen if:
- you suffer from over-pronation (lowering of the arches)
- you stand/walk on hard surfaces for long periods
- you have put on weight
- the muscles and tendons in your feet and legs are tight
- you are over 45
Treatment options for Plantar Fasciitis
The most commonly doctor-recommended treatment methods include:
- ice (applied onto the heel area for about 5 mins)
- rest or reduced activity
- cortisone-steroid injections
- orthotic insoles, to correct poor foot biomechanics
- a program of daily exercises
Treatment with orthotic insoles
The most effective solution to Plantar Fasciitis is to treat the cause of the problem i.e. by correcting abnormal foot mechanics with orthotic insoles.
Developed by Australian podiatrists, Footlogics orthotics control over-pronation and support the arches. They help release the tension on the plantar fascia, thereby treating the cause of the problem and allowing the inflamed tissue to heal much faster. FootActive also features a shock-absorbing heel pad helps reduce the impact on the painful heel, providing added relief and walking comfort.
Footlogics orthotics have helped many thousands of heel pain sufferers around the world in countries like Australia, England, Germany – even South-Korea!
A number of recent studies have shown that the most effective long-term treatment of Plantar Fasciitis is a combination of daily exercises and wearing orthotic innersoles. The exercises help make the muscles and tendons in the feet and legs longer and more flexible. In turn this will reduce the tension on the plantar fascia.