The plantar fascia1 is a tough fibrous ligament on the sole (arch) of the foot. It extends from the calcaneum (heel) to the metatarsal heads (toes) and acts to maintain the arch of the foot. Plantar fasciitis is the term used to describe inflammation of the plantar fascia1.
Pain at the origin of the plantar fascia at the calcaneum, particularly when:
- Standing after rest (the inflamed/torn area of the plantar fascia1 stretches)
- Prolonged standing or exercise (the plantar fascia1 is bruised from pressure & tearing). The heel area is markedly tender and often also slightly swollen.
A spur at the calcanuem (a bony growth on the heel).
Whenever weight is put through the foot, the plantar fascia1 is under tension and stretched. Repeated stretch of the fascia fatigues it. The natural repair mechanism cannot keep up with the fatigue. This can be due to:
- An increase in weight or activity level
- Age causing general wear and tear
- Ill-fitting shoes, or shoes with inadequate support
- Tight calf muscles / Achilles tendon4 (Achilles tendon pulls on the
calcaneum2, hence causing tension on the plantar fascia1)
- Excess pronation (rolling in) or flat feet (the arch lowers, placing excess
strain on the arch and subsequent inflammation of the plantar fascia1)
Orthotics for Plantar Fasciitis & Heel Spurs:
A full examination of your feet including palpation, gait analysis, lifestyle
footwear analysis will be completed to ensure accurate diagnosis.
A thick heel pad or taping is a good start in your diagnosis. If you experience pain reduction then Orthotics will provide a far superior treatment and pain reduction by offloading the Calcaneus and plantar fascia. Orthotics provide comfort, cushioning and pain relief in every step.