The plantar fascia is a long ligament that runs underneath the foot, from the inside of the heel to the base of the first toe. Plantar fasciitis is the term given to inflammation of the plantar fascia at its attachment site on the heel bone. Children can also develop a common heel condition known as Severs disease, which coincides with the combination of bone development at the heel growth plate and increased activity in frequency or intensity.
When the plantar fascia is repetitively stretched, microscopic tears may develop in the ligament. These tears are accompanied by small inflammatory responses that gradually build up to cause discomfort. Although the pain may only be present for a few steps in the early stages before “warming up”, the tiny ligament tears will continue to occur throughout the day if the problem of overstretching is not addressed, eventually causing more severe pain. You should not ignore the pain in the hope that it will go away. Plantar fasciitis is deceptive in that the pain “warms up” and allows you to walk or run on the area. Each time this happens you do further damage and the injury becomes far harder to treat.
Overpronation, or excessive rolling in, causes increased tension in the plantar fascia and is a primary cause of plantar fasciitis. This is why the condition is more common in people with flat feet. Footwear without adequate support also allows the foot to overpronate and can contribute to the development of plnatar fasciitis. Other factors such as high bodyweight, tight calf muscles and older age all increase the likelihood of developing plantar fasciitis.
Newcastle Podiatry Services has the expertise to clinically diagnose and manage you or your children’s symptoms and get you back to the activities you enjoy.
The initial step is to establish the mechanism of your injury. We identify the factors that caused the tissue stress and then develop a treatment plan to promote healing and re-balance the adverse pressures if noted.
By the end of your initial consultation, you will have a diagnosis, an individual treatment plan discussed in a clear manner and easy to follow.
Plantar fasciitis is on the rise. Signs to look for include:
- Pain when taking the first steps in the morning, or from sitting to standing
- Heel swelling
- Sharp pain at the heel insertion of the plantar fascia