The plantar fascia is a sheet of very tough material running the length of the bottom of your foot. The condition called plantar fasciitis occurs when small tears or ruptures occur in the plantar fascia, causing pain especially on the bottom of the heel.
The pain from plantar fasciitis usually develops gradually and in one foot rather than both.
It used to be thought that the pain of plantar fasciitis was caused by the presence of heel spurs, since these were frequently found during diagnostic imaging. With the added weight gain during pregnancy and the presence of hormones which cause softening and relaxing of connective tissue, stress is added to the plantar fascia.
Before making changes to more rigorous exercises or activities such as in running longer distances, adding extra hours of practice to field sports, or escalating to more demanding routines, consideration should be given to the possibility of injuring the plantar fascia. The diagnostic heel pain which is worst upon getting out of bed is caused by the tightening of the plantar fascia during sleep. Pain in other areas of the foot such as the ball of the foot should not be confused with plantar fasciitis.
It is important to begin treatments as soon as possible after symptoms are noted to prevent serious lasting damage to the plantar fascia.
One of the possible consequences of not seeking prompt treatment is developing gait changes that can affect other parts of the body while attempting to favor the injured foot. The towel curl involves sitting down, putting a towel on the floor under the foot and using the toes to gather the towel in folds, push the folds behind the foot. To exercise the area in the arch of the foot, sit down and put a tennis ball or rolling pin on the floor and roll it around using the area in the arch of the foot.
Another way of removing the stress, especially when severe pain is present, is to rest the foot, giving it a chance to recover from too much running, jumping, walking, dancing, or whatever behavior brought on the injury.


Taping of plantar fascia is sometimes done to help alleviate pain, although usually it is considered as primarily a preventative measure (which see). A newer surgical technique than traditional surgery that has been used for treating plantar fasciitis is coblation surgery. These are sharp pieces of bone formed where the plantar fascia has been pulling away from where it is attached to the heel. It is felt right in the middle of the bottom of the heel where the plantar fascia has its base of attachment to the heel bone (calcaneus). Routine use of arch supports, orthotic devices and cushioning insoles can help prevent plantar fascia injury.
Pain in the ball of the foot is usually associated with metatarsalgia, which is inflammation of the tissues which accompany the bones of the arch of the foot (metatarsals). There are a series of foot stretches and exercises that can be performed as well as calf exercises. Loop a rolled towel under the ball of your foot and grasp the ends of the towel in your hands.
Use of orthothic supports which fit inside the shoe can help cushion the heel, distribute weight better and encourage proper gait while the foot is healing.
The padded night splint fits along the bottom of your lower leg and the bottom of your foot, with straps around your leg and foot holding it in place. Tissues that connect bones to other bones are called ligaments, so this may also be referred to as the plantar fascia ligament. When the condition goes beyond inflammation and the damage becomes long-lasting, it is sometimes called plantar fasciosis. It can expand and contract with striding, acting as a springboard to help impel motion and helping to absorb the shock of impact with each footfall.


If conditions arise which place undue stress on the plantar fascia, collagen strands can break and begin to unravel. If usual treatments for treating plantar fasciitis don’t bring relief, pain from bone spurs present should be investigated. It is usually applied before activity that might stress the plantar fascia or at the beginning of a day to give the feet support in general. This procedure allows location and removal of the damaged part of the plantar fascia with less injury to surrounding tissue.
A more serious but much less common injury is plantar fascia rupture, which is a serious tear to the entire fascia rather than just micro injuries.
Avoid shoes with high heels, since these place stress on the heel and Achilles tendon, which in turn affects the plantar fascia.
Understandably this procedure weakens the foot arch because the tension between toes and heel that the plantar fascia provides is no longer there.
You should feel a pull all along the bottom of your foot, through the back of your leg and to the knee. Side effects of the surgery can be infection, nerve injury, rupture of the plantar fascia and also no relief of pain. Roll one of these about under the affected foot, massaging and flexing the bottom of the foot while numbing with coldness.



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