Plantar fascia is the strong connective tissue that runs along the bottom of the foot connecting the heel to the base of the toes. The thick, fibrous band of tissue, along with the muscle and bones, forms the arch of the foot. If the fascia becomes irritated, it becomes inflamed and painful.
Generally the pain is noticed after getting up in the morning or after standing for long periods or sitting. This is because the fascia has an opportunity to tighten during the night or during periods of rest and is traumatically stretched upon the initial weight bearing. Due course of the day, with increased activity, the pain may again worsen despite of the fact that it frequently loosens up after the first few steps. The location of the pain may vary also. While plantar fasciitis generally is noticed under the heel, it may extend along the entire course of the fascia or at any point along length of the fascia.
The function of your heel while walking is to absorb the shock of your foot striking the ground as it is put down and to start springing you forward on the next step. It contains strong bone (the calcaneum). Under the bone there are large number of small pockets of fat in strong elastic linings, which absorb much of the shock (fat pads). The heel is attached to the front of the foot by a number of strong ligaments. They run between the front part of the calcaneum and various other parts of the foot. The strongest ligament is the plantar fascia, which attaches the heel to the toes and helps to balance the various parts of the foot as you walk. It therefore takes a lot of stress as you walk.
Causes for Plantar fascia
This is due to simply the constant stress, and it is therefore common in people who spend all their day on their feet or are overweight.
Due to stiffness of the ankle or tightness of the Achilles tendon increase the stresses on the heel. Most people with plantar fascitis have r tight Achilles tendon.
People who have high-arched (“cavus”) feet or a flat feet are less able to absorb the stress of walking and are at risk for plantar fascitis
Sometimes it may start after an injury to the heel.
People who suffer from rheumatic condition such as rheumatoid arthritis or ankylosing spondylitis may get inflammation anywhere a ligament is attached to bone (enthesopathy).Plantar fascitis in these people is part of their general condition.
As heel pain is basically a stress problem in the tissues of the heel, the main treatment is to reduce stress.
Physiotherapy provides services to develop maintain and restore maximum movement and functional ability throughout the lifespan
For more information and treatment by physiotherapy for Plantar Fascitis contact Sara Rehab at 905.497.4550