Overview of Plantar Fasciitis
Plantar fasciitis is an inflammation of the plantar fascia, a band of connective tissue on the bottom of each foot. The plantar fascia connects the heel bone at one end to the base of the toes at the other and creates the arch of a foot. Around 2 million Americans suffer from foot pain associated with this condition each year.
Pain in the bottom of the affected foot radiates to the front of the associated heel. This discomfort makes it difficult to put any weight on the foot. Pain tends to be the worst the first thing in the morning. As the individual begins to walk, the fascia lengthens a little, causing discomfort to diminish. The disorder also tends to worsen after exercising or standing for extended periods. Heel spurs are just one possible complication.
A number of factors could cause this disorder. When an individual walks with a step that’s abnormal or repeatedly puts pressure on a heel, the plantar fascia sometimes stretches in an irregular way, undergoes unusual stress, and develops tears. These tears cause inflammation and subsequent pain.
As many as 85% of individuals with an inflamed plantar fascia suffer from excessive pronation, the inward twisting of a foot. Other culprits include high arches, a tight Achilles tendon, walking or standing on irregular or hard surfaces, and running or other physical exercises. Poorly cushioned footwear, excess weight, and aging can also cause this condition. Although rare, a traumatic foot injury could trigger this type of foot pain.