It sounds like a funny name for a foot problem. But to the people that suffer from it, it’s anything but funny. Fasciitis, (yes the double “i” is not a misprint) is one of the most common foot complaints that limp through my door. Plantar fasciitis is an inflammation of the band (usually the medial band) of the plantar fascia, (a thick ligamentous band inserting at the heel and the ball of the foot, supporting the arch of the foot.). The band serves many functions, not the least of which is to help support the arch structure of the foot.
Numerous factors, such as being overweight, walking on hard , unforgiving surfaces, high impact athletic activities and poor foot structure, all contribute to inflammation of this band. Repeated micro-tears of the plantar fascia cause pain in the heel area especially upon arising first thing in the morning or after a period of rest. Symptoms usually subside as the foot warms up and the fascia stretches out.
Treatment and Prevention
To properly treat heel pain, you must absorb shock, provide cushioning and elevate the heel to transfer pressure.
When the condition is pronation related (usually plantar fasciitis),an orthotic with medial posting and good arch support will control the pronation and prevent the inflammation of the plantar fascia.
Footwear selection is also an important criteria when treating heel pain. Shoes with a firm heel counter, good arch support, and appropriate heel height are the ideal choice.
As always, surgery should be the very last resort. If the problem persists, consult your foot doctor for heel pain treatment.