Plantar Fasciitis is one of the most common heel problems seen by Canadian Certified Pedorthists, effecting one in ten people at some point in their life. The plantar fascia is a thick band of fibre that runs on the bottom of the foot. It begins at the heel, runs through the arch, and attaches into the toes. Unlike muscle, fascia has very little elasticity, so it can easily become irritated, inflamed, overused, or torn.
The common symptom of plantar fasciitis is pain at the bottom of the heel or through the arch, but most commonly noted in the centre of the heel pad. The telltale sign is how the patient feels when they wake up in the morning, often feeling pain or stiffness with the first ten to twenty steps out of bed. With these symptoms present, it’s most likely plantar fasciitis.
Pedorthic treatment includes a range of recommended stretches, such as: stretching the calf muscles and hamstrings, pulling the fascia on the foot, and warming up the ankles before getting out of bed. For example, doing ankle circles, and pulling the toes backwards toward your shin, and that helps open up the arch.
Proper footwear plays an important role in treating and preventing plantar fasciitis by reducing motion that may put pressure on the fascia. Orthotics are often beneficial for patients with plantar fasciitis to control the motion of the foot and reduce pronation and stress on the foot, which can lead to small tears and inflammation of the plantar fascia.
If you think you have plantar fasciitis, talk to your local Canadian Certified Pedorthist to find out what treatment is right for you.