Jacques Martin, D.S.S., B.Sc., C.Ped.
President, Footech Inc., Certified Pedorthist
Plantar fasciitis is an inflammation of the connective tissue of the bottom of the foot, or plantar fascia, connecting the heel bone to the toes. The condition occurs from overuse, or when the thick band of tissue on the bottom of the foot is overstretched. A relatively common condition, plantar fasciitis can be difficult to treat if not attended to in its earliest stages. Injury to the tendon occurs as a result of an accumulation of microscopic tears at the cellular level. Pain is typically experienced on the underside of the heel. Sufferers can also experience difficult bending the foot due to decreased dorsiflexion of the ankle. Plantar fasciitis can also lead to knee pain. Foot orthotics have proven to be the most effective method of non-surgical treatment in various evidence-based studies. Sufferers wearing customize or custom-fitted orthotics often show statistically signficant reductions in pain. Pain can also be reduced by stretching the plantar fascia and Achilles tendon before getting out of bed in the morning. Night splints can also be used to maintain the foot in dorsi-flexed position while sleeping. Surgical procedures for plantar fasciitis can often lead ot further complications including nerve injury, infection, and rupture.
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