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Sunday, 04Jul10

Happy Fourth of July  !!!!

What is plantar fasciitis?


Plantar fasciitis is that pain in the bottom of your foot usually felt around your heel. That pain hurts especially the first few steps in the morning as you are getting out of bed and standing on your feet, or after sitting and taking a rest for awhile.

The name Plantar fasciitis comes from: “Plantar” means something that belongs to the foot, “fascia” means a band or ligament or a connective tissue, and “itis” means inflammation.You can see in the picture the plantar fascia band as it runs along the foot. The plantar fascia band connects your heel bone to the toes. The pain is caused by wounding the tough plantar fascia band on the bottom of your foot.

The plantar fascia is a strong, relatively inflexible, fibrous band that runs through the bottom of the foot. The plantar fascia helps to keep the complex arch system of the foot, it helps to absorb shock, plays a role in body balance and in the various phases of gait. The plantar fascia transmits your weight across the bottom of the foot with each step you take. When the heel of the trailing leg starts to get off the ground, the plantar fascia band bears tension that is approximately twice the body weight. The tension on the band at this moment is even greater if the calf muscles are not flexible enough.

This picture shows the plantar fascia band and the most common inflammation places – colored in red. Plantar fasciitis will usually be close to the heel but it might happen anywhere along the Plantar fascia band. If the band gets bruised or stretched, the inflammation causes the pain. In more severe cases the band can also get a little detached from the heel bone or a bony growth can form a heel spur.

Plantar fasciitis is sometimes called a heel spur although they are not the same. A heel spur is a calcium deposit that occurs where the plantar fascia is attached to the heel bone (calcaneus). In many cases a heel spur is found on a foot with no pain or other symptoms at all. And in many painful heels there is no sign for a heel spur. Heel spur and painful heal does not necessarily go together.

For many years plantar fasciitis was believed to be an inflammatory condition. It is thought now to be inaccurate because there were many cases of plantar fasciitis with no inflammatory cells observed within the fascia. The heel pain cause is now believed to be damage to the collagen fibers of the plantar fascia. This damage, caused by stress injury, sometimes may include inflammatory cells.

Plantar fasciitis is commonly misspelled as plantar faciitis, plantar fascitis, planter faciitis, planters faciitis, etc.

Plantar fasciitis often occurs in middle-age. It also occurs in people who spend long hours standing on their feet for work, like athletes or soldiers. It can happen in one foot or both feet. Plantar fasciitis is common in sports like long distance running, dancing etc. Athletes who overpronate (rolling in or flattening feet) are especially at risk as the biomechanics of their feet place more stress to the plantar fascia.

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