What Causes Plantar Fasciitis?

What Causes Plantar Fasciitis?

Plantar fasciitis occurs when the plantar fascia ligament that connects the toes to the heel along the underside of the foot becomes inflamed. The inflammation occurs as a reult of small tears to the fibrous connective tissue that makes up the ligament. The foot disorder can normally be relieved effectively by wearing a plantar fasciitis shoe, but if left untreated, can progress to be a highly debilitating condition.

The plantar fascia ligament is one of the most important support structures in the foot and plays a critical role in transferring the weight from heel to foot when we walk or run. The tearing and damage that can occur is normally a result of a number of interrelated factors as outlined below:

  • If you pronate, your ankle is not property aligned over your foot but rolls inwards over your arch. The result is that with each step you are pulling unevenly on your plantar fascia which, after some time, can result in tears and strains.
  • If you have a profession that requires a great deal of standing or you are involved with a sport that requires running and jumping, you are at higher risk of developing heel pain associated with plantar fasciitis. If you are overweight or are required to carry heavy weights as part of your job, this will exacerbate the problem.
  • Incidents rates rise with age simply as a function of weakening tissue and long term stresses on your plantar fascia ligament.

If you visit a podiatrist to discuss plantar fasciitis, he or she will likely point you in the direction of custom othortic insoles – such as Orthaheel insoles – which when inserted into your shoes will help correct any pronation and ensure that your weight distribution is even across your foot at all times. Specialized plantar fasciitis shoes, with built in orthotics, are also available. For immediate relief consider purchasing a special splint that gently stretches the ligament when you are resting or sleeping. A looser plantar fascia should have the effect of reducing less heel pain and discomfort.

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