Plantar Fasciitis

Plantar Fasciitis

Plantar Fasciitis – Causes

Plantar fasciitis is a commonly seen, painful foot condition. It actually refers to the condition of inflammation of the band of tissue that runs from the heel along the arch of the foot. This is seen often in middle-aged men and women, but it can also be found in people of all age groups nowadays. Plantar fasciitis is diagnosed with the classic symptoms of pain well localized over the heel area of the bottom of the foot. What all become the common causes of Plantar Fasciitis? Let us take a look at that now. The common causes include the following.

Very tight calf muscles which lead to prolonged and high-velocity pronation of the foot. This condition, in turn, produces repetitive over-stretching of the plantar fascia tissue leading to possible inflammation and also thickening of the tendon. As the fascia thickens it starts to lose flexibility and eventually strength.

Some medical practitioners think that overpronation can always be determined by the dropping and rolling in of the foot arch. But this is not always the case. Sometimes it can only be seen while doing foot scans, especially if the patient has a high arched foot.

Other common causes include a high arch or low arch and other biomechanical abnormalities including over supination which is a far rarer case than overpronation and causes problems especially for runners and other athletes, in this position the foot is less able to provide shock absorption. This should be properly examined and treated by a podiatrist/physiotherapist/biomechanist.

Excessive walking in improper footwear which does not provide adequate support to foot arch has also been attributed to plantar fasciitis. In addition, overweight individuals are more at risk of developing the condition due to the excess weight impacting on the foot, this also causes plantar fasciitis.

A heel spur is also taken as a common cause for this condition, but research has found that this is not the case. On x-ray, heel spurs are seen in people with and without plantar fasciitis. So it is better advised to do treatment for plantar fasciitis only after knowing the
real cause.

Plantar Fasciitis – Symptoms

Plantar fasciitis pain occurs only on the sole and heel of the foot. It may cause severe pain along the entire length of the plantar fascia tissue and where these ligaments are attached to the heel bone in the rearfoot and the five metatarsal bones also. Some of the most
common symptoms of the plantar fasciitis pain are the following.

Plantar Fasciitis can first occur as simple heel pain, under the heel and usually on the inside area of feet, and also at the origin of the attachment of the fascia. It can start as pain when pressing on the inside of the heel and sometimes even along the foot arch.

This pain might be usually the first thing which gives you the worst start of the day in the morning as the fascia tightens up overnight. After a few minutes, it eases as the foot gets warmed up. If it is in the advanced state the condition will become even more severe and the pain can get worse throughout the day if you go on doing activities like running, walking etc throughout the day. Another symptom is that stretching of plantar fascia tissue becoming more painful as time passes by.

In some cases, there may be pain along the outside border of the heel. This condition may occur due to the offloading the painful side of the heel by walking applying pressure on the outside border of the foot. It may also be associated with the high impact of landing on the outside of the heel if you have high arched feet.

Plantar fasciitis and heel spurs are most commonly found in people who involve themselves in sports which include running, dancing or jumping. Runners who overpronate are more vulnerable to plantar fasciitis as the biomechanics of the foot pronating causes additional
stretching of the plantar fascia tissue and might cause pain.

Treatment for Arch Pain

Just like heel pain, arch pain must also be diagnosed at an early stage, because chances of it to get worse as time passes is very large and it can become harder and harder to manage. Fortunately, treatment options are available depending on the severity of the pain you are suffering with.

Let’s just go through some general treatments which we can go through. The most effective method of treatment of arch pain is the placement of arch supports in the shoes. This counteracts the strain produced on the foot arches by biomechanical errors, causing them to cease stretching excessively.

A good specialist can recommend the inserts suitable to your needs, which will depend on the shape of your arches. These supports should lessen your symptoms within days. 

Always Change your shoes to a pair that result in less pain in the arch of the foot. In some cases, this may mean wearing a sneaker with more support and for others, this may be like wearing a shoe with a slight heel rather than a flatter one.

First, figure out which activities are causing the pain in your case. In some cases arch pain might start when you get involved in a new sport like running or activity such as a job that requires you to stand for a long period of time. You may need to rest for a while until the pain settles. This may involve sitting at work instead of standing or avoiding running until you are pain-free.

Soaking your feet in warm to hotfoot baths is both relaxing and also a very good foot care. Homemade foot bath recipes are easy to make and can be tailored to your personal tastes. This will help to give you relief from pain to some extent.

Seek a specialist’s help if the pain persists for long. Early treatment is the key. Your podiatrist will diagnose the cause of the pain and may recommend orthotic therapy. They will check your shoes to see if they are a contributing factor in the pain.

Treatment of Plantar Fasciitis Pain

For curing plantar fasciitis conservative treatment is the best choice and it is almost always successful if given enough time. According to the contributing factor, the treatment can last from several months to 2 years before symptoms get better one by one. Mostly the patients will be better after 9 months of treatment itself.

At the initial stage, treatment usually consists of two things: Anti-inflammatory medications and Heel stretching exercises. In most of cases, this can cure the pain to a great extent.
The most important factor accelerating the cure is nothing but rest, rest and rest alone. Take Rest until it is not painful. It can be very difficult to give rest the foot for most of the people as they will be on their feet during the day for work. By walking on the painful foot
you will be continually aggravating the injury and increasing inflammation and taking the pain to the next level.

 You have to take rest as much as possible and put a stop to any unnecessary activities which place additional stress on the fascia tissue.

A good plantar fasciitis taping technique can also help the foot to get the rest it needs by supporting the plantar fascia tissue. The tape is to be applied in strips across the plantar fascia taking the stress off the affected foot for the healing to take place.

You can also apply ice or cold therapy to help reduce pain and inflammation. Cold therapy can be applied regularly until symptoms have resolved completely.

Stretching the plantar fascia tissue is an important part of treatment and prevention of the pain. That is why heel stretching exercises are commonly advised to patients.

A plantar fasciitis night splint is an excellent product for curing the pain which is worn overnight for relaxing the tissue and it gently stretches the calf muscles and plantar fascia preventing it from tightening up overnight.

In a few patients, the nonsurgical treatment fails and surgery to release the tight, inflamed fascia becomes necessary for curing Plantar Fasciitis pain.

Surgery Treatment For Plantar Fasciitis

Surgery is considered as an option for relieving from plantar fasciitis pain only if the pain persists even after the period of 9 to 12 months of conservative treatment by which it should have been cured properly. If it is in the case of athletes who cannot give proper rest for their feet and if the pain impairs their performance very drastically, surgery is the only option ahead of them. All the patients who opt for plantar fasciitis surgery should be made aware of the risks involved in the surgery properly.

Surgery Treatment For Plantar Fasciitis

In open mode of surgery, usually an incision is made through the heel pad and the part of the ligament is cut to relieve the tension. Damaged tissues or heel spurs are also removed from the body during the surgery. In an endoscopic mode of surgery, the damaged area of
ligaments are located by means of various endoscopic instruments that are inserted inside the body.

What are the risks involved in the surgical treatment of plantar fasciitis?

They include Infections resulting out of the surgery which is one of the common problems of all surgeries. Another thing is that the arch of the foot can reduce if the part of the ligament is cut more than required.

 Lastly, the surgery may or may not reverse all the effects of plantar fasciitis pain. There is always a chance that a patient comes out of surgery with all the symptoms of plantar fasciitis still in place.

Just like rest is prescribed as a conventional treatment for this kind of pain, it is also suggested even after the surgery, so as to enable the tissue to heal quickly. It normally takes about a minimum of 3 months for the tissue to heal completely and to resume its normal function of weight-bearing.

This surgical treatment involves quite a few complications and also its results cannot be assured. So it is always advised to think many times before deciding for taking surgery. Since prevention is always better than cure, the best way to protect your foot and the tissues supporting it is, to maintain a proper posture, wearing proper shoes and to ensure your body weight is distributed evenly on your feet. Then you will never have to worry about plantar fasciitis pain at all.

Causes of Arch Pain

Foot arches are perhaps the most primary structures of the body which absorb & return force to and from the body to the outside world when we are on our feet. When something happens to these structures, it will result in severe pain inflammation and all.

Injury to the tissue plantar fascia is one of the common causes of arch pain. Plantar Fascia is bands of fibrous connective tissue radiating toward the bases of the toes from the medial process of the tuber calcanei; also called the plantar fascia. They are made up of predominantly longitudinally oriented collagen fibres. When this tissue is damaged, the resulting inflammatory response may become a source of arch pain.

Sprains, strains, bruises, and fractures may be the result of a single stress or a combination of stresses to the foot. Many of the muscles of the lower leg and foot attach on or near this arch. If these muscles are either injured or if they have become tight, it may lead to incorrect biomechanics and in turn, give rise to arch pain.

A sprain of the arch occurs when the ligaments which hold the bones together are overstretched and the fibres tear. The muscles of the foot may be strained by many reasons like overstretching, overuse, overloading, bruising, or being cut by stepping on a sharp object. In older person Arthritis of the arch, joints may also occur if the foot is subjected to repetitive movements that stress the arch.

Another cause which we can point out is micro-trauma injuries which are caused when the structures of the body are stressed and re-stressed to the point that the tissues get damaged. 

The factors that commonly contribute to this injury can be running on uneven surfaces or surfaces that are too hard or too soft, usage of shoes that have poor force-absorption qualities, or going too hard or too long during repeated exercise bouts.

Summarizing, we can say that Arch pain can have so many causes. Direct force trauma, sprain in ligaments, muscle strains, poor biomechanical alignment, stress fractures, overuse, or the tightness or lack of tightness of the joints in the foot. Proper care must be given to identify each cause and do treatments accordingly.

Arch Pain Symptoms

Arch pain is commonly called as foot pain, A patient having arch pain will be usually having inflammation of the tissues within the midfoot. The arch of the foot is actually made of a tight band of tissue that connects the heel bone to the toes which are really important in proper foot mechanics and weight transfer from the heel to the toes. When this tissue of the arch of the foot becomes irritated and inflamed, even simple movements become extremely painful.

Pain and tenderness associated with plantar fascia strains are usually felt on the bottom of the foot. This pain might increase or decrease by stretching of the arch.

A more specific pain which is not associated with plantar fascia might be an indicator that something is wrong in that particular region. Pain while moving the affected area is also an indicator of the specific body part being affected.

We know that bones and ligaments work together to form joints and that bones are joined together by ligaments. Strains may occur in ligaments occasionally. In the arch of the foot, there are ligaments that are located at the ends of each bone. These ligaments connect the bones to other bones on both ends and on the sides. Point tenderness and looseness of a joint are the general indicators of having a sprain.

Arch pain might have a variety of different causes. Just like for any other ailment, proper evaluation and diagnosis of arch pain are essential in planning treatment. The good general advice is to compare the injured side to the uninjured side. Injury may present itself as a distinguishable lump, a gap felt at that location, or a “crunchy” feeling on that spot caused by inflammation. The type, causes, and severity of pain are also good indicators of the severity of the injury.

Arch pain can be described in four manners

o    Pain while doing something.

o    Pain before and after doing something, and without affecting performance.

o    Pain occurring before, during, and after every athletic activity and also affecting performance.

o    Pain so severe that performance is impossible.

Types of heel Pain

Heel pain is a nightmare to most of the people nowadays. Especially to those who walk a lot and all. The case is similar to fever, many types of heel pain are present around us. 

Different types of heel pain and also they will be having entirely with different treatment. A thorough understanding of the type and treating appropriately is really important for an effective cure. Most of us ignore the initial symptoms and keep on working. This can be trouble at a later stage. It’s best to get medical help as soon as possible.

Let’s take a quick glance over the types.

They are Heel Spur, Plantar Fasciitis, Stress Fractures, Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome, Posterior Heel Pain…

Types Of Heel Pain

  Heel Spur 

 Found most commonly in patients who have Plantar Fasciitis since long. We can say that Heel Spur or Heel Spur Syndrome is an extended form of Plantar Fasciitis itself.

  Plantar Fasciitis

      The most common condition which causes pain to your heels. Caused by common irritation and inflammation of the arch of the foot. This tends to occur in people with diabetes, those who are having obesity, pregnant women, athletes, volleyball players, tennis players and people who participate in step aerobics or stair climbing. It can be also triggered by pushing a large appliance or piece of furniture or by wearing worn out or poorly constructed shoes. Long-distance runners are most likely for becoming victims of this condition. People with flat feet have a higher risk of developing plantar fasciitis.

 Stress Fractures 

 This one is an uncommon kind of heel pain. Should be considered especially in athletes such as long-distance runners who have heel pain from the beginning.

Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome 

 This causes a large nerve in the back of the foot to become entrapped, or pinched.

Posterior Heel Pain 

 This type causes symptoms behind the foot not underneath. The causes include Achilles tendonitis and retrocalcaneal bursitis.

Heel Pain can be caused because of many reasons, its main symptoms are the following…

Plantar fasciitis 

 This commonly causes intense pain along the bottom of the foot when you start walking getting down from the bed in the morning. This will go away once you start to walk around and return at a later time of the day. 

Heel spur 

 Heel spurs will cause pain and tenderness on the lower of the heel that will get worse as time passes by.

 Calcaneal apophysitis 

 Usually caused in small children, this condition will cause pain and tenderness at the lower back portion of the heel of those small kids. The heel will not be swollen in most cases.


 Bursitis in heel causes pain in the middle of the undersurface of the heel. It gets worse with prolonged standing. The pain at the back of the heel gets worse if you bend your foot up or down.

 Pump bump 

 This causes a painful enlargement at the back of the heel, ladies who wear high heel shoes, beware of this.

 Local bruises 

 Heel bruises may cause pain, mild swelling, soreness and a black-and-blue discolouration of the skin.

 Achilles tendonitis 

 This causes pain at the back of the heel where the Achilles tendon attaches to the heel. The pain gets worse if you exercise or play sports, and it is followed by soreness, stiffness and mild swelling, so take good care of yourself. 

  Trapped nerve 

 A trapped nerve can cause pain in heel, numbness or tingling almost anywhere like the back, inside or undersurface of the heel. There are many other common symptoms such as swelling or discolouration if the trapped nerve was caused by a sprain, fracture or other injuries.

Excercise for Curing Heel Pain

Just as we know, Heel pain is usually caused as a result of tight calf muscles. This pain can develop into heel spurs or the condition called plantar fasciitis. When this happens, there are various exercises that can be done that stretch the calves and work the muscles on the bottom of the feet. With these exercises, we can bring down heel pain to a greater extent and get relief.

Exercise #1 – Stretching

This stretching exercise is done by placing the balls of your foot against a wall and straightening your leg.

Exercise #2 – Roll Out

This one is done on a foam roller or even a can of soup. You just stand on top of it (be careful and don’t slip), and with your weight pushing down, roll your foot back and forth slowly. 

Exercise #3 – Toe Walks

To do toe walks, you should stand on your tiptoes and walk across the floor. Just the way you used to play in childhood. Every time you lift your foot up, you flex the toes. This can bring great relief. 

Exercise #4 – Towel Stretch

This exercise can be done in a seated position on the floor. Wrap a towel over the balls of your foot and gently pull back and hold for some time, repeat the same again and again.

Exercise #5 – Stair Stretch

To do this exercise, you will need to stand on a step or a block. Place your foot halfway on the step, as if you are climbing up, and then lower your heel downward. Go up and down alternatively. Do this for some time continuously.

Doing these exercises regularly can help to bring down the heel pain and bring smiles back to your faces again. You will be running again with lots of happiness and relief in your life again.


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