Sport & Spine Rehab – Low Leg / Ankle / Foot – Plantar Fasciitis/Fasciosis
Plantar fasciitis is a condition that occurs when there is chronic inflammation to a large band of tissue on the bottom of your foot called the plantar fascia.
Because this fascia is on the bottom of your foot, doctors call this area the plantar surface, meaning sole of the foot in Latin. The purpose of this ligament is to help support the arch of your foot. When this fascia becomes inflamed, doctors add the ending “itis” thus, the term plantar fasciitis. Interestingly though, most cases of this condition are an “osis”, meaning a bad condition in Latin. We know this because the fascia is normally degenerative on an MRI instead of actively inflamed. The treatment for these conditions are drastically different. A proper exam from a doctor like those at Sport and Spine Rehab is necessary to determine the condition and treatment needed.
Sometimes, on X-rays, a heel spur is seen; however, it is not the cause of your pain. Numerous scientific studies have shown that the plantar fascia is the main source of pain (i.e. don’t let anyone talk you into surgery or any other treatment to remove the heel spur).
The cause of this condition is not fully understood, but it is more commonly found in females and overweight people. When both feet are involved, this is sometimes associated with a certain type of arthritis, which can be evaluated with a simple exam and tests by your doctor. This problem can often be contributed to by an Achille’s tendon that is too tight.
The pain occurs on the bottom of your heel, usually more toward the inside (“medial”). It hurts to take a step or walk. Most patients report that the pain is worst when getting out of bed in the morning. The pain usually gets better after walking around for a while. The reason the pain is worse in the morning is because the plantar fascia has had the chance to contract (shorten, tighten) all night long while you are sleeping.
The pain can be described as a sharp pain (like stepping on a pebble) or a dull aching/throbbing pain. Plantar fasciitis/fasciosis is very common, but is easy to treat WITHOUT SURGERY. Strengthening the hips (gluteal muscles), improving balance, and restoring mobility to the foot and ankle joints are the primary methods of treatment.