Plantar fasciitis is probably the most common condition I see as a pedorthist, and in severe cases, extremely debilitating.
The plantar fascia is a thick band of tissue that starts on the bottom of your heel bone and inserts on metatarsal heads at the ball of your foot. This fascia acts to support the arch in the foot. If this tissue becomes irritated from overuse or other biomechanical irritation, small tears begin to form throughout the day. During periods of relaxation, such as overnight or sitting for long periods of time, these tears begin to heal and scar tissue is laid down like a bandaid. When you first stand after these periods of rest, the scar tissue tears from the heel bone causing extreme pain with the first few steps, and the cycle begins again through the day. This is, in a nutshell, plantar fasciitis.
A custom made foot orthotic acts to limit certain movements in the foot and promotes others in order to offload the plantar fascia so that it can heal properly. For example, if someone pronates excessively during their gait, the orthotic acts to limit that rolling in movement so that the fascia doesn't pull from the heel like it naturally wants to.
In many situations, the orthotic is worn as much as possible until the plantar fascia is fully healed and then can be worn less and less, much like a splint.
There are many reasons that plantar fasciitis may develop but these are some of the most common:
Other treatment options in combination with custom orthotics can lead to quicker relief:
It is important to act quickly when you experience these types of symptoms. More often than not I see people who have been dealing with this pain for months, hoping that it will naturally go away. In many cases, the orthotic is relatively quick in relieving pain if caught relatively early.
If you experience heel pain please don’t hesitate to call 519-787-8111 or visit here to make an appointment to see how a pedorthist and custom orthotics can help.
Laura Van den Borre,