Plantar Fasciitis is described as an inflammation of the plantar fascia, the broad tissue which stretches from the base of the heel bone to the forefoot. This inflammation is caused by excessive stretching of the tissue and this leads to pain in the heel. It could also lead to a heel spur, which is a bony protrusion in the heel bone due to calcium deposits.
In Plantar Fasciitis, the patient feels a stabbing pain in the heel, usually as soon as you get off the bed in the morning or after a long period of rest because the plantar fascia contracts to its original shape. As you start walking again, the tissue stretches and this causes pain. As the day progresses and the plantar fascia continues to get stretched, the pain often subsides. The pain is caused mainly after rest!
Plantar Fasciitis is mainly caused due to excessive pronation of the foot. To be precise, it is caused when the calcaneus in the hind foot is stable but the forefoot is over-pronating. Thus the plantar fascia is repeatedly over-torqued, causing inflammation in the tissue. When the plantar fascia is repeatedly being stretched away from the heel bone, the calcaneus will eventually grow towards the plantar fascia in an attempt to re-attach itself. This bony growth is called heel spur.
Plantar Fasciitis can be treated with orthotic insoles that correct excessive pronation of the foot and elongate the arch. These insoles need to be rigid so that the plantar fascia is prevented from excessive stretching and the foot arch is dynamically held up. The patient can expect a complete recovery within 2 to 3 months.
A night splint can also be used for pain relief as it keeps the plantar fascia stretched during the night, preventing it from contracting back to its original shape.