Plantar fasciitis is more commonly known as heel pain. It is caused by too much stress placed on the plantar fascia ligament when it is stretched irregularly. The plantar fascia is a ligament attaching itself to the ball of the foot down the plantar arch. When it is torn, it becomes inflamed, which leads to pain every time the heel carries the person’s weight while walking.
The most common area of pain is where the fascia attaches to the heel bone, or the calcaneous. There are two primary areas that tend to suffer the worst damage. The first area is right on or in front of the heel. The second area that suffers the most damage is right in front of the ball of your foot. Both of these areas are where the plantar fascia attaches and holds the arch of the foot.
The pain in those areas will feel like a slightly burning, aching and stabbing pain starting at the heel and running to the front of the foot. However, plantar fasciitis is not caused by a muscular or bone disease. Actually, it is a mechanical problem with the feet. This means corrective surgery or drugs are not needed to correct plantar fasciitis.
The solution to this condition should fix the biomechanical alignment of the foot while walking. The normal resting position of our foot has the heel raised five degrees with the toes pointing downward in a plantar flexion movement. A good pair of shoes would keep this same position through the use of a medically proven insole, the use of a good arch support, and the use of plantar fasciitis exercises to relieve the pain and stress on the injured foot.
Occasionally wearing really high heels, or wearing really flat shoes all the time can result to the development of plantar fasciitis. People with plantar fasciitis should avoid open-back shoes, sandals, and flip-flops. Jobs that require a lot of walking on hard surfaces, shoes with little or no arch support, a sudden increase in weight and over activity are also associated with the condition.
To ease the pain, medical practitioners suggest placing a frozen bag of corn or even a cold beverage can under the affected foot and rolling it back and forth using the foot. This method provides a stretch and an ice massage simultaneously. Aside from that, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as aspirin and ibuprofen are also used in a limited capacity.
For a more effective therapy for plantar fasciitis, it’s important to lessen activities which place more pressure on the balls of the feet because these increase tension in the plantar fascia. This is counter-intuitive because the pain is in the heel, and the heel is often sensitive to pressure which causes some people who have plantar fasciitis to walk on the balls of their feet. This is the reason why walking with heels raised feels more comfortable for people with plantar fasciitis.