What is Plantar Fasciitis?
Plantar fasciitis is a common condition affecting the foot. It is sometimes called a heel spur. There may or may not be a heel spur that is noted on x-ray with this, but the real problem with the plantar fasciitis is stress to the plantar fascia on the bottom of the foot, particularly where it attaches on the calcaneus, or heel bone. The pain is particularly more intense after being stationary for a period of time, for example, after sleeping or after sitting awhile. There is often pain and tenderness on the bottom of the heel if you push on that area. There are two common foot problems that lead to this condition. If the foot is too stiff or too tight it will put extra stress on the plantar fascia. If the foot is too loose and excessively pronates(fallen arch), it will cause irritation to the plantar fascia. Plantar fasciitis can occur with runners or people who are deconditioned and are not in good physical shape. Plantar fasciitis in runners is caused from overuse, and the deconditioned from using their feet when they are not used to it.
A comprehensive approach in treating plantar fasciitis should start with a careful evaluation to determine the type of foot problem you have. Are there areas of joint stiffness and restriction, and areas of muscle tightness; or, are there areas of muscle weakness. The first step is to determine the cause of the problem, then, a specific treatment regimen can be recommended.