Plantar Fasciitis is an inflammation caused by excessive stretching of the plantar fascia. The plantar fascia is a broad band of fibrous tissue that runs along the bottom surface of the foot, attaching at the bottom of the heel bone and extending to the forefoot. When the plantar fascia is excessively stretched, this can cause plantar Fasciitis, which can also lead to heel pain, arch pain, and heel spurs.
- Over-pronation (flat feet) which results in the arch collapsing upon weight bearing
- A foot with an unusually high arch
- A sudden increase in physical activity
- Excessive weight on the foot, usually attributed to obesity or pregnancy
- Improperly fitting footwear
Treatment and Prevention
The key to proper treatment of plantar Fasciitis is determining what is causing the excessive stretching of plantar fascia. When the cause is over-pronation (flat feet), an orthotic with rearfoot posting and longitudinal arch support is an effective device to reduce the over-pronation and allow the condition to heal.
If you have unusually high arches, which can also lead to plantar Fasciitis, cushion the heel, absorb shock and wear proper footwear that will accommodate and comfort the foot.
Other common treatments include stretching exercises, plantar Fasciitis night splints, wearing shoes that have a cushioned heel to absorb shock, and elevating the heel with the use of a heel cradle or heel cup. Heel cradles and heel cups provide extra comfort, cushion the heel, and reduce the amount of shock and shear forces placed during everyday activities.
Every time your foot strikes the ground, the plantar fascia is stretched. You can reduce the strain and stress on the plantar fascia by following these simple instructions: Avoid running on hard or uneven ground, lose any excess weight, and wear shoes and orthotics that support your arch to prevent over-stretching of the plantar fascia.