Causes of Plantar Fasciitis

Causes of Plantar FasciitisAs foot injuries go, plantar fasciitis doesn’t sound very impressive.  However, all too many people who are active (& especially athletes) know that it is not only painful, but also common.  In fact, around 10% of runners are affected by plantar fasciitis.

In addition to them, many basketball players, football players, golfers, and other athletes are sidelined by foot pain as a result of plantar fasciitis.  Professionals like American NBA star Kobe Bryant and Olympic marathoner Ryan Hall have both been affected by plantar fasciitis. However, you do not have to be an athlete to suffer from this condition too.

The cause of plantar fasciitis has never been well understood.  We know that there seems to be a link between sports training, repetitive movements, and plantar fasciitis.  Athletes seem to be particularly prone – particularly runners – which seems to be related to the fact that they are constantly putting strain on the plantar fascia.

Weight bearing activities, being overweight, over pronation (flat feet) & high arches, may all contribute to causing more strain on the plantar fascia, which in turn can lead to Plantar Fasciitis. Tight calf muscles & a tight Achilles tendon may also be a contributing factor.

The plantar fascia is a long, narrow band of tissue located on the underside of the foot.  It connects the heel to the toes, and its length forms part of your foot’s arch.  The painful condition known as plantar fasciitis is characterized by a sharp, stabbing pain in the foot, usually in the arch of the foot or at the heel.

The pain is typically worst when you first stand up after getting out of bed in the morning or stand up after sitting down for an extended period of time.  When you are at rest, the plantar fascia tightens and stiffens.  Then, when you stand up after resting, strain is put on the tightened plantar fascia.  Once you have been on your feet for a while, the plantar fascia loosens up, and the pain lessens.

Many doctors believe that plantar fasciitis is caused by chronic inflammation in the plantar fascia.  They think that the repetitive action of running or putting pressure on the feet through other repetitive activities provokes an inflammatory response from the body.  The plantar fascia becomes inflamed, and this inflammation develops into a chronic condition.

Plantar fasciitis can also be caused by a weakening or degeneration of the plantar fascia tissue.  During exercise and activity, the plantar fascia develops small tears.  This is a normal response, and typically, those tears heal themselves without any noticeable or long-term damage, but in some cases, this does not happen.

In cases where plantar fasciitis develops, doctors suspect that the frequency of training /activity prevents those small tears from healing properly.  Instead, the body is bombarded by tissue damage, and it is unable to keep up with healing or naturally repairing the damage.

When inflammation is suspected, & the normal regime of Rest, Ice & Elevation does not work, then this condition is commonly treated by administering anti-inflammatory steroidal injections. However, there are some other forms of treatment that have proven to be successful also.

How to Avoid Plantar Fasciitis?

Many people may find relief from plantar fasciitis pain by supporting the feet with proper footwear and arch supports.  Regular gentle stretching of the calf muscles, achilles tendon & plantar fascia can also help to prevent the “tightening” of the plantar fascia & to strengthen up this group of muscles/tendons in general.

These alterations can provide the support that the feet need during activity, so that the plantar fascia is not put under excessive strain & therefore does not weaken or get inflamed.

If you suffer from plantar fasciitis, contact Foot Solutions.  We provide top of the line footwear, over the counter arch supports, and custom arch supports that can give your feet the support that they need.  Visit Foot Solutions today to learn more.