Is the pain usually worse first thing in the morning, yet eases after a few steps?
Does your pain sometimes return after long periods of standing or sitting?
If so, you may have plantar fasciitis.
Stedmens Medical Dictionary defines plantar fasciitis as an inflammation of the plantar fascia, often caused by an overuse mechanism, which results in foot and heel pain. This definition is now thought to be incorrect due to the absence of inflammatory cells within the plantar fascia. Instead, the plantar fasciitis is now thought to be due to a degeneration of the collagen fibers within the plantar ligament resulting from micro trauma.
The plantar fascia ligament is like a rubber band. It loosens and contracts with movement. The plantar fascia also absorbs weight and pressure as you walk. If the weight and pressure on the plantar fascia is excessive (e.g., excessive running, jumping etc), micro-tears in the collagen fibres within the plantar fascia can occur. This is why athletes are prone to developing this condition.
A contributing factor in the development of plantar fasciitis is walking or exercising in improper shoes (shoes that do not fit correctly, provide inadequate support or cushioning). This can impair the weight distribution through foot which, in turn, can significantly increase the stress on the plantar fascia ligament.
Plantar fasciitis is sometimes incorrectly referred to as a heel spur. A heel spur is a bony turburence (growth) that occurs where the plantar fascia attaches to the calcaneus (heel bone). A heel spur is now thought to be a direct result of a repetitive pulling of the plantar fascia. A heel spur may or may not result in heel pain, whereas heel pain is always present in plantar fasciitis.
There are other, less common conditions that can result in heel pain:
· Nerve entrapment of the post tibial nerve;
· Stress fracture of the heel bone;
· Necrosis of the fat pad underneath the heel bone;
· Reiter’s syndrome;
· Ankylosing spondylitis.
These must be eliminated in the differential diagnosis before a diagnosis of plantar fasciitis can be confirmed.
For information on other foot problems, read: 7 Common Myths About Foot Problems
As you learn more about my innovative therapy, you may find that addressing and effectively treating your foot structure may be the missing link to ending your long time battle with unrelenting muscle and joint pain.
If you would like to contact me regarding an appointment, click here.
Professor/Dr Brian A Rothbart
Chronic Pain Elimination Specialist
Discovered the Rothbarts Foot and PreClinical Clubfoot Deformity
Developer of Rothbart Proprioceptive Therapy
Inventor and Designer of Rothbart Proprioceptive Insoles
Founder of the International Academy RPT
Author of Forever Free From Chronic Pain and The Foots Connection to Chronic Pain