Plantar Fasciitis is actually, in most cases, plantar fasciosis but itâs a bit like pen/biro or hoover/vacuum. The term â-itisâ means âinflammationâ. This is a term we use for this problem
in the early stages of damage because it usually is quite literally an inflammation of part of the plantar fascia. So, what is commonly known as âplantar fasciitisâ is really âplantar
fasciosisâ - a degradation or degeneration of the collagen fibres because of prolonged (most of your adult life) unsustainable stress being applied to the fascia. So, we call it plantar fasciitis
but it usually hasnât been an â-itisâ for years and that is why in many cases anti-inflammatory drugs do not help ease the pain of walking. This is also why most sufferers experience pain first
thing in the morning. If inflammation was the source of discomfort then why would it hurt after a nights rest and the good old drugs pumping through your system.
Plantar fasciitis tends to strike those who overtrain, neglect to stretch their calf muscles, or overdo hill work and speedwork. Plantar fasciitis can also be caused by biomechanical flaws, including
flat, high-arched feet and a tight Achilles tendon; excessive pronation; sudden increases in training mileage; beginning speedwork; wearing worn running shoes; running on hard surfaces, like asphalt
or concrete; or wearing high heels all day before switching into flat running shoes.
Plantar fasciitis and heel spur pain usually begins in the bottom of the heel, and frequently radiates into the arch. At times, however, the pain may be felt only in the arch. The pain is most
intense when first standing, after any period of rest. Most people with this problem experience their greatest pain in the morning, with the first few steps after sleeping. After several minutes of
walking, the pain usually becomes less intense and may disappear completely, only to return later with prolonged walking or standing. If a nerve is irritated due to the swollen plantar fascia, this
pain may radiate into the ankle. In the early stages of Plantar Fasciitis and Heel Spurs, the pain will usually subside quickly with getting off of the foot and resting. As the disease progresses, it
may take longer periods of time for the pain to subside.
A physical exam performed in the office along with the diagnostic studies as an x-ray. An MRI may also be required to rule out a stress fracture, or a tear of the plantar fascia. These are conditions
that do not normally respond to common plantar fasciitis treatment.
Non Surgical Treatment
The key for the proper treatment of plantar fasciitis is determining what is causing the excessive stretching of the 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 usually 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.
When more conservative methods have failed to reduce plantar fasciitis pain, your doctor may suggest extracorporeal shock wave therapy, which is used to treat chronic plantar fasciitis.
Extracorporeal shock wave therapy uses sound waves to stimulate healing, but may cause bruises, numbness, tingling, swelling, and pain. When all else fails, surgery may be recommended to detach the
plantar fascia from the heel bone. Few people need surgery to treat the condition.