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Plantar Fasciitis

Plantar Fasciitis is a foot condition characterized by inflammation and irritation of the plantar fascia. The plantar fascia is a thick band of tissue that runs along the bottom of the foot connecting the heel bone to the toes. Understanding the anatomy of the foot is essential in comprehending how Plantar Fasciitis develops. The plantar fascia serves as a crucial support structure for the arch of the foot helping to absorb shock and maintain stability during walking, running, and other weight-bearing activities. When the plantar fascia experiences excessive tension or repetitive stress, tiny tears can occur in the tissue leading to inflammation and discomfort.

Plantar Fasciitis Anatomy
Plantar Fasciitis Xray

Several factors contribute to the development of Plantar Fasciitis, including:

• Excessive strain from activities like running, walking, or standing for prolonged periods.

• Improper footwear that lacks adequate arch support, restricts foot movement or lacks cushioning.

• Tight calf muscles/Achilles tendon, which can increase strain on the plantar fascia.

• Obesity or sudden weight gain, placing added pressure on the feet.

• Flat feet or high arches which can alter the distribution of weight on the foot and strain the plantar fascia.

• Overpronation or supination which are abnormal foot mechanics that can contribute to increased stress on the plantar fascia.

 

These factors can lead to microtrauma and inflammation of the plantar fascia, resulting in the characteristic symptoms of Plantar Fasciitis.

Plantar Fasciitis Assessment

The hallmark symptom of Plantar Fasciitis is heel pain, typically felt at the bottom of the foot near the heel bone. The pain is often most severe with the first few steps in the morning or after periods of rest which gradually improves as the foot loosens up with activity. Prolonged standing or intense physical activity can exacerbate the pain, causing discomfort throughout the day. In some cases individuals may also experience stiffness and tenderness in the affected foot along with swelling and redness around the heel area.

 

Treatment strategies for Plantar Fasciitis focus on reducing pain, inflammation, and restoring function to the affected foot. Conservative measures are often the first line of treatment and may include:

• Rest and activity modification to alleviate strain on the plantar fascia.

• Stretching exercises to improve flexibility in the calf muscles and Achilles tendon.

• Orthotic or supportive footwear with arch support to redistribute pressure and provide cushioning.

• Physiotherapy modalities such as ultrasound, acupuncture, ice therapy or shock wave therapy to promote healing and reduce pain.

• Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) or corticosteroid injections to alleviate pain and inflammation.

In cases where conservative treatments fail to provide relief, more invasive options such as platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapy or surgical intervention may be considered to address persistent symptoms and facilitate healing of the plantar fascia. Toronto's Revita Therapy provides a comprehensive treatment program tailored to the individual's specific needs and lifestyle for effectively managing Plantar Fasciitis and promoting long-term recovery.

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