Pronounced as "plantar fash-ee-eye-tis". Plantar means "Foot". Fasciitis means "Inflammation". It is a condition that can lead to pain on the bottom of the foot.
Plantar Fasciitis is a serious and painful condition that occurs when the long, flat ligament along the bottom of the foot develops tears and inflammation. Serious cases of plantar fasciitis can possibly lead to ruptures in the ligament. This ligament is called the plantar fascia and it extends from your five toes and runs along the bottom of your foot, attaching to your heel. When you walk or run, you land on your heel and raise yourself on your toes as you shift your weight to your other foot, causing all your weight to be held up by your plantar fascia. Such repetitive force can pull the fascia from its attachment on your heel and cause damage and plantar fasciitis.
Many factors can cause plantar fasciitis to develop. When walking with a normal step, the plantar fascia ligament stretches as the foot strikes the ground. When walking with an abnormal step, or when putting repetitive pressure on the heel, the plantar fascia ligament can stretch irregularly, become stressed, and develop small tears. These small tears can cause the fascia ligament to become inflamed (plantar fasciitis).
The pain from plantar fasciitis can be described as a dull ache or sharp pain. Plantar fasciitis tends to worsen after standing or exercising for prolonged periods or after getting out of bed in the morning. Morning heel pain from plantar fasciitis is one of the most common symptoms. As the person walks, the fascia "warms up" and lengthens slightly, reducing the tension on the ligament and lessening the pain.
What Causes Plantar Fasciitis?
The repetitive stress of certain conditions or activities commonly leads to plantar fasciitis. Among those conditions that may cause plantar fasciitis:
- Biomechanical factors, such as abnormal inward twisting of the foot (pronation), high arches, flat feet, or tight tendons along the back of the heel (Achilles tendon).
- Excessive pronation has been found in about 85% of those who suffer from plantar fasciitis. Prontion can be responsible for added tension in the plantar fascia as the arch lowers during standing or walking.
- Repetitive pressure on the feet, such as from jobs or activities that require prolonged walking or standing on hard or irregular surfaces. Running and exercise can also lead to wear and tear on the plantar fascia.
- Aggravating factors, such as being overweight or having poorly cushioned shoes.
- Natural process of aging which may cause tissue in the heels to weaken over time and/or promote wear and tear.
- In rare cases, a single, traumatic injury to the foot such as from a motor vehicle accident can cause the onset of plantar fasciitis.
Chiropractic adjustments of your feet and appropriate lifestyle modifications can help restore function and relieve pain.