What is Plan­tar fasciitis, causes, pre­ven­tion and treat­ment

Great Health Guide - - CONTENTS - Mar­garita Gure­vich

Plan­tar fasciitis – the term might be a mouth­ful but the mean­ing is quite sim­ple - in­flam­ma­tion of the fas­cia (con­nec­tive tis­sue) on the un­der­side of the foot, which con­nects the heel to the toes and acts as a shock ab­sorber. When the ten­sion on this band be­comes too strong small tears can form; repet­i­tive tears and stretch­ing can lead to ir­ri­ta­tion and in­flam­ma­tion of the plan­tar fas­cia, caus­ing pain in the foot and heel. In this ar­ti­cle we will re­view how plan­tar fasciitis is gen­er­ally di­ag­nosed as well as what you can do to pre­vent and treat it. Bear in mind that each case is dif­fer­ent and that the in­for­ma­tion pro­vided in this ar­ti­cle is not a sub­sti­tute for see­ing a qual­i­fied health pro­fes­sional.


Un­like many other con­di­tions that can be tricky to di­ag­nose, the di­ag­no­sis of plan­tar fasciitis is usu­ally quite straight­for­ward. Sev­eral fac­tors in the his­tory and ex­am­i­na­tion are so char­ac­ter­is­tic that in most cases the di­ag­no­sis is not dif­fi­cult. Pain that is worse on first aris­ing in the morn­ing or af­ter a pe­riod of rest is highly sug­ges­tive of plan­tar fasciitis. The pain of­ten im­proves when we start to walk but may re­cur af­ter pro­longed, con­tin­ued, or more stress­ful ac­tiv­ity. When se­vere, the pain may have a throb­bing, sear­ing qual­ity. The sec­ond highly char­ac­ter­is­tic fea­ture is the lo­ca­tion of the pain, which is usu­ally along the arch of the foot, any­where be­tween the heel and toes. Your phys­io­ther­a­pist can per­form a few sim­ple tests that are very spe­cific to plan­tar fasciitis. These in­clude pal­pa­tion (feel­ing) of the arch of the foot, move­ments of the foot and toes as well as test­ing the strength of the mus­cles of the foot. Imag­ing tests, such as ul­tra­sound, X-Ray etc are gen­er­ally not re­quired. How­ever, if the symp­toms don’t im­prove with treat­ment it is im­por­tant to un­dergo these tests in or­der to make sure that the di­ag­no­sis is cor­rect and that there is noth­ing else caus­ing the clin­i­cal signs.


There are a num­ber of risk fac­tors that have been shown to be as­so­ci­ated with plan­tar fasciitis. These in­clude the fol­low­ing: • Ex­er­cise which places repet­i­tive stress on the plan­tar fas­cia, such as danc­ing (par­tic­u­larly bal­let), long dis­tance run­ning and oth­ers

• Age (40-60 is the most com­mon age for pre­sen­ta­tion)

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