Plantar Fasciitis is an inflammatory injury to the thick fibrous tissue in the bottom of your foot. This tissue is called the Plantar Fascia. The Plantar Fascia attaches to the heel bone (calcaneus) out toward the toes. The Plantar Fascia acts like a bowstring to maintain the arch of your foot. The Plantar Fascia protects the other structures in the plantar (bottom) side of your foot.
The pain can be sharp and severe, or it might be dull and aching. It can occur in the heel or anywhere up to the front part of the foot. Most often the pain is located in front of the heel bone. Most patients complain that the pain is worse first thing in the morning and walking right after they have been sitting or resting. The pain and stiffness seems to ease after a few steps, but comes back later in the day.
Healing takes longer than you might expect, because of the location, the bottom of the foot. Every time you step on the foot, you are re-injuring it. The longer that you put off treatment, the longer it takes to heal.
On x-rays you might see a SPUR on the heel bone (calcaneus). Spurs rarely cause the pain, they are the result of the chronic stress on the bone. In other words… spurs are the result of the problem… they are not the cause of the problem.
Treatment of Plantar Facitis
Walking with an unleveled spine and hips puts unequal weight on your feet, creating abnormal stress to the bottom of the feet. Therefore, maintaining a balanced spine and hips is essential for recovery.
Rest the injured tissue. Stop any exercise that stresses the bottom of your foot. If you notice an increase in pain after doing something, then not doing it is only common sense.
Putting ice on the painful area will help the foot heal, and also help the pain. Take a 2 liter coke bottle, fill it ¾ full of water and freeze it. Roll the heel and arch area on the bottle for 15 minutes three times per day and after any physical activity.
If possible, taking anti-inflammatory medication will reduce the pain and inflammation and help speed recovery.
A well fitting walking or running shoe will often help. In general, certain shoes feel better than others; don’t force yourself to wear shoes that you know will hurt your feet.
Heel Pain Instructions
- Wear shoes recommended by the doctor.
- DO NOT wear shoes with extremely low or high heels.
- DO NOT walk bear foot.
- Decrease athletic activity ( i.e. running, walking, aerobics).
- Stretch morning and night as instructed by doctor.
- Apply ice to the heel at night for 15 minutes.
- Apply moist heat to heel in the morning.
- Use shoe inserts at all times.
Consult your doctor with any questions or problems.