Plantar Fasciitis

The plantar fascia is a strong, fibrous material, which is located on the bottom of the foot. It runs from the ball of the foot to the heel, and is composed of three main sections. Pain from plantar fasciitis, (inflammation of the plantar fascia) can occur anywhere in the plantar fascia, but most commonly occurs on the inside corner of the heel. The most severe pain usually occurs when a person takes their first steps in the morning. When a person is off their feet for 6-8 hours at night, the plantar fascia will actually shrink or contract. With the first step in the morning, the fibrous band goes from a state of no tension to considerable tension, often resulting in severe pain.

As you walk, the fascia stretches out, and the pain will often diminish or go away completely. As the condition persists, it takes longer and longer for the pain to ease up. Eventually it never does. The primary cause of plantar fasciitis is excessive pronation.

The long term solution to this injury – 95% of the time – is a functional orthotic. By treating the true cause of the problem (the mechanics of the foot), surgery is rarely indicated.

 

Heel Spurs

This is a painful condition caused by calcium deposits on the base of the heel putting pressure on other areas of the feet. High impact sports that strain the arch and throw off the natural balance of the foot, like squash and running are the most common causes. Even quick weight gain can be the culprit. Chiropodists or podiatrists may recommend using “non weight bearing” devices such as orthopedic shoes, a walker, crutches, or even a wheelchair or rest. These can help healing by relieving pressure on the injured part of your foot.