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Plantar Fasciitis

An inflammation of the big band of tissue called the plantar fascia. This ligament runs under the foot connecting the heel bone with the bones of the foot. It supports the arch of the foot and functions as a shock absorber.It is the most common cause of heel pain but you may also feel pain in other areas along the ligamentous band.

Symptoms of plantar fasciitis include a burning or aching pain first thing in the morning which may, or may not, start to feel better as the day progresses. The pain is typically felt near the back of the foot where the plantar fascia tendon connects to the heel bone. Sometimes the pain runs along the entire foot, increasing in severity with walking or standing.The pain can be completely debilitating for weeks or months at a time and the condition can make walking and standing very unpleasant. Some people may limp or develop an abnormal walking style as they try to avoid placing weight on the affected heel.The pain is usually worse first thing in the morning, or when you first take a step after a period of inactivity. After walking the pain usually improves, but often gets worse again after walking or standing for a long time. It is often described as stepping on a piece of glass.

The specific cause of plantar fasciitis is different among individual patients. In some people it is the result of an injury caused by jumping, running, or performing repetitive movements that put undue stress on the plantar fascia. Other times it might be the result of tightness in the calf muscles, an arthritic condition, or wearing poor quality shoes.

Plantar fasciitis is particularly common in runners. In addition, people who are overweight, women who are pregnant and those who wear shoes with inadequate support are at risk of plantar fasciitis. Common treatments of plantar fasciitis involve icing the area and taking anti-inflammatories to reduce swelling as well as avoiding standing/walking for long periods of time. When chiropractic treatment is involved, it is used to realign the joints of the feet and lower back and to keep muscles and tendons as loose as possible in order to promote healing.

A chiropractor may sometimes recommend orthotics designed to help relieve pain and prevent future injury or recommend good-fitting shoes that support and cushion your foot. Regular stretching exercises to the calf muscles and the plantar fascia will also routinely be prescribed.

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