Plantar fasciitis is the most common cause of pain in the heel in adults. It is almost as common as the common cold! The plantar fascia is a structure that runs from the ball of the foot to the heel bone and supports the arch of the foot via what is known as the windlass mechanism. Plantar fasciitis is a strain with inflammation or degeneration of this plantar fascia.
The common causes of plantar fasciitis are anything that puts additional strain on the arch of the foot and overloads the plantar fascia. This included being overweight, overuse (as in sport), tight calf muscles or abnormal foot biomechanics such as a flat pronated foot.
The most common symptom of plantar fasciitis is pain under the heel, especially after getting up from rest. It is more severe when getting out of bed in the morning.
The best treatment for plantar fasciitis is to remove the strain in the plantar fascia that is causing the problem. The best way to relive this strain is with the use of foot orthotics and stretching. In more severe cases this strain can be helped with low dye strapping. Long term, losing weight is very effective for plantar fasciitis. There are many other treatments that can be used for plantar fasciitis, but almost all of them are aimed at helping the damaged tissues heal and do not relieve the strain in the plantar fascia long term.