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Stride Orthopaedics and Footwear


What is plantar fasciitis?

Cross-section diagram of the foot showing the plantar fascia (017.jpg)

Plantar fasciitis means inflammation of your plantar fascia. Your plantar fascia is a strong band of tissue (like a ligament) that stretches from your heel to your middle foot bones. It supports the arch of your foot and also acts as a shock-absorber in your foot.

What causes plantar fasciitis?

Repeated small injuries to the fascia (with or without inflammation) are thought to be the cause of plantar fasciitis. The injury is usually near to where the plantar fascia attaches to your heel bone.

What are the symptoms of plantar fasciitis?

Pain is the main symptom. This can be anywhere on the underside of your heel. However, commonly, one spot is found as the main source of pain. This is often about 4 cms forward from your heel, and may be tender to touch. 

The pain is often worst when you take your first steps on getting up in the morning, or after long periods of rest where no weight is placed on your foot.

Gentle exercise may ease things a little as the day goes by, but a long walk or being on your feet for a long time often makes the pain worse.

Resting your foot usually eases the pain.

Sudden stretching of the sole of your foot may make the pain worse. For example, walking up stairs or on tip-toes.  You may limp because of pain.  Some people have plantar fasciitis in both feet at the same time.

What is the initial treatment for plantar fasciitis?

Consulting your physician, a Canadian Certified Pedorthist, Physiotherapist, Chiropodist or Chiropractor should be your first action.  Usually, the pain will ease in time.  'Fascia' tissue, like 'ligament' tissue, heals quite slowly.  It may take several months or more to go.  Catching and treating the condition as soon as possible will be beneficial.
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