TORONTO CHIROPODIST SHARES SOME INFORMATION ON PLANTAR FASCIITIS
posted: Aug 11, 2016.
What causes plantar fasciitis?
Repeated small injuries to the fascia (with or without inflammation) are thought to be the cause of plantar fasciitis. The injury is usually near to where the plantar fascia attaches to your heel bone.
You are more likely to injure your plantar fascia in certain situations. For example:
- If you are on your feet for a lot of the time, or if you do lots of walking, running, standing, etc, when you are not used to it or have previously had a more sedentary lifestyle.
- If you have recently started exercising on a different surface - for example, running on the road instead of a track.
- If you have been wearing shoes with poor cushioning or poor arch support.
- If you are overweight - this will put extra strain on your heel.
- If there is overuse or sudden stretching of your sole. For example - athletes who increase running intensity or distance; poor technique starting 'off the blocks', etc.
- If you have a tight Achilles tendon (the big tendon at the bottom of your calf muscles above your heel). This can affect your ability to flex your ankle and make you more likely to damage your plantar fascia.
Plantar fasciitis may be confused with 'Policeman's heel' but they are different. Policeman's heel is plantar calcaneal bursitis - inflammation of the sack of fluid (bursa) under the heel bone. This is not as common as plantar fasciitis.
Often there is no apparent cause for plantar fasciitis, particularly in older people. A common wrong belief is that the pain is due to a bony growth, or 'spur', coming from the heel bone (calcaneum). Many people have a bony spur of the heel bone but not everyone with this develops plantar fasciitis.
How common is plantar fasciitis?
Plantar fasciitis is common. Around 1 in 10 people will develop plantar fasciitis at some time in their life. It is most common in people between the ages of 40 to 60 years. However, it can occur at any age. It is twice as common in women as it is in men. It is also common in athletes.
What are the symptoms of plantar fasciitis?
Pain is the main symptom. This can be anywhere on the underside of your heel. However, commonly, one spot is found as the main source of pain. This is often about 4 cm forward from your heel, and may be tender to touch.
The pain is often worst when you take your first steps on getting up in the morning, or after long periods of rest where no weight is placed on your foot. Gentle exercise may ease things a little as the day goes by. However, a long walk or being on your feet for a long time often makes the pain worse. Resting your foot usually eases the pain.
Sudden stretching of the sole of your foot may make the pain worse - for example, walking up stairs or on tiptoes. You may limp because of pain. Some people have plantar fasciitis in both feet at the same time.
At Dr. John A. Hardy's Toronto foot clinic, Academy Foot and Orthotic Clinics we treat many patients suffering from plantar fasciitis very successfully. We have a complete aray of physical therapy equipment as well our Chiropodists are trained in ART, active Release Technique, Acupuncture and foot manipulation and mobilization.
If you or a loved one requires high quality advice, foot care and custom orthotics, please contact us at 416-465-8737.
Brought to you by Dr. John A. Hardy, owner of Academy Foot and Orthotic Clinics.