Oh, My Aching Feet

Posted: May 22, 2008 in Sports Medicine
Tags: , , , , ,

Plantar fasciitis is a painful condition effecting the heel and arch area of the foot.  Symptoms include pain in the heel and arch with walking and especially with the first steps  upon getting out of bed or after prolonged sitting.  The pain can range from mild to quite severe.  The pain results from an irritation to the thick fibrous tissue on the bottom of the foot known as the plantar fascia.  It attaches to the heel and runs along the bottom to the ball of the foot.  If the foot flattens out more than normal (overpronation) the fascia is excessively and repetitively stretched and can over time become inflammed at the heel where it inserts.  Microtearing occurs and the tissue can start to pull the bone away fron the heel resulting in a heel spur.  So, a bone spur is the result not necesarily the cause of the problem and the bone spur is horizontally oriented not vertically.  As you sleep at night or when you are off your feet the tissue begins to “scar down” as it attempts to heal itself and then when you take that first step in the morning it stretches or “tears” the fascia tissue.  Thats why those first steps are killers.  Symptoms can be set of by overpronation, changes in activity levels, improper shoe wear, climbing ladders or using your foot to dig with a shovel.  Most of the time plantar fasciitis responds to conservative therapy consisting of a good biomechanical evaluation, modalities for pain ( ice, iontophoresis, electrical stimulation), taping, proper stretching (hip flexors, calves), strengthening (hips, core) and temporary or custom foot orthotics.  So why would one have surgery but not correct what caused the problem in the first place?


Get Strong, Stay Strong!



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