The What’s and Why’s
This can be a heck of a problem and if you suffer from it, you know what we are talking about. Plantar Fasciitis pretty much describes itself. The bottom of the foot is the plantar surface. There is a strong ligament/connective tissue/muscle group that runs from your heel to the base of your toes called the “fascia”. Because it supports the arch, it is subject to use and abuse from everyday activity. Sometimes a traumatic accident like stepping on a stone can cause a slight irritation. Over a period of time, this irritation gets worse due to the fact you have to be on your feet. This is where the “itis” comes in. Itis means ‘inflammation. So what you have done is irritated the ligament/muscle group in the bottom of foot and it has gotten to the point that every time you get up in the morning it hurts. As you walk on it, it gets better but hurts again the next morning. This is because as you sleep, the bottom of the foot is pointed downward and allows the fascia to tighten or shorten during the night. When you step on it the next morning, you are stretching it out for the first time and can it ever hurt! As you walk it gets looser and finally doesn’t hurt, UNTIL THE NEXT MORNING! This can become chronic and in some cases affect one or both feet to the point you can’t get it better during normal activity.
This all depends on how chronic it is. Caught in the early stages, treatment can be simple. In the chronic stage, treatment requires injections, medications and physical therapy. Regardless of the stage, once treatment begins one important part is making certain the fascia gets stretched and stays that way.