What is Plantar Fasciitis?

What is causing your foot pain? Repetitive trauma and overuse of the plantar aponeurosis are believed to be causal factors of plantar fasciitis. Therefore, it is important to know how to decrease this trauma to properly heal the damage and prevent recurring pain and discomfort.

The tissues damage is caused by a biomechanical insufficiency tearing the plantar fascia tissue, at a microscopic level. Your body attempts to heal the damaged tissue during rest, which is why the pain is greatest when a person first wakes up in the morning and steps out of bed or after sitting for an extended period of time and stands to walk again. The first few steps hurt the most because the scar tissue that your body laid down in an attempt to heal the tissue is being retorn. Because the pain decreases after some time does not mean all is well and in fact, more damage is being done.

There are many causes and each person is different so should be treated on a case by case basis. However; a person may notice increased pain following increased or intense activity, during sandal season, when wearing minimalist shoes (especially combines with intense activity) or by the end of the work week from repetitive movements in work shoes, even if appropriate shoes.

If you notice the pain is asymmetrical (only one foot) take a mental note and see if you are also suffering from pain further up the kinetic chain in the knee, hip or lower back of the same side. If you discover there is discomfort or pain higher than the foot on the same side consider seeing a gait specialist. An incorrect gait, amongst other reason, could be the root cause and proper correction will be essential.  

Orthotics, custom or over the counter depending on the severity of the damage and level of insufficient mechanics, have a high success rate of correcting the foot position and relieving the pain and discomfort of plantar fasciitis. Correcting the foot position decreases the repetitive damage giving the tissue time to heal and aiding to improve biomechanics.

Pro tips to keep in mind if you are or ever have suffered from plantar fasciitis:

Roll of a golf ball or lacrosse ball under your foot (semi-weight bearing) as often as possible.
Ice the area your feeling most pain for 10-12 minutes before going to bed at night.
Write the alphabet in the air when you first wake up, prior to getting out of bed.
Wear supportive sandals or shoes indoors, if not already.
Stretch lower leg muscles to increase flexibility.

If you don’t see improvement consider seeing someone with specialized training in the area of gait analysis and lower leg expertise. A certified pedorthist, physiotherapist, chiropractor, and massage therapist can all assist with treatment to improve this condition, sometimes a combination of clinicians can be required.

We are accepting new patients and you can book your appointment online today!

Jeff Lewis C.Ped.(C)