One of the most common foot problems is plantar fasciitis. The Plantar fascia is a wide band of connective tissue that stretches from the heel to the ball of the foot, and helps formn the arch of the foot and act as a shock absorber for the body. Plantar fasciitis occurs when small tears and inflammation occur, and the body can’t repair the tissue fast enough, usually due to over-use.
Pain experienced with the first steps in the morning is the most common symptom reported with plantar fasciitis. The pain can also spread to the arch of the foot. The condition can be temporary, or it may become chronic if ignored. Resting can provide relief, but only temporarily.
Plantar fasciitis is usually associated with overuse during high-impact exercise and sports, or increasing the amount of exercise too rapidly after being sedentary for a long time. Plantar fasciitis accounts for up to 9% of all running injuries. It often occurs in only one foot, so factors other than overuse are implicated in many cases. Other possible causes of plantar fasciitis are lack of calf flexibility, shoes that don’t fit properly, worn out shoes, or biomechanical issues that cause uneven distribution of forces through the foot during walking or running.
The major treatment goals for plantar fasciitis are:
•Reducing inflammation and pain
•Reducing pressure on the heel
•Restoring strength and flexibility