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Plantar Fasciitis

Definition

Plantar fasciitis is an inflammation of the plantar fascia, the fibrous membrane that connects the heel bone to the bottom part of the toes. This fascia supports the plantar arch. When it is heavily solicited, it becomes irritated and pain appears in the heel or plantar arch. In some cases, the formation of calcifications in the plantar fascia causes a bony spur known as heel spur to appear..

The most common cause of plantar fasciitis is an abnormal collapse of the foot, whether it is flat or high-arched. Obesity is also an important factor. Walking or standing still on hard surfaces for extended periods of time, inadequate shoes offering little to no foot support, and intensive sporting activities (particularly running) are all causes of plantar fasciitis.

Symptoms

The symptoms of plantar fasciitis are:

  • Pain under the heel;
  • Pain that is generally more acute when waking up in the morning. After walking for a few minutes, the pain lessens as foot movement stretches the plantar fascia. In some cases, the pain disappears then reappears after standing up for an extended period of time;.
  • Pain that worsens over several months.

Treatment

To treat plantar fasciitis, the podiatrist may recommend:

  • A temporary break or adaptation of physical activities;
  • The application of a cold compress on the heel multiple times a day;
  • Stretching and relaxation exercises;
  • Physiotherapy;
  • The use of heel cushions;
  • Wearing a plantar orthosis;
  • Taking anti-inflammatory medication;
  • A cortisone injection in the heel;
  • Immobilization or even surgery in exceptional cases.

In most cases, wearing a plantar orthosis is the best form of treatment and the best way of preventing the condition from reoccurring.

Plantar Fasciitis

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