Cause of injury
Running on hard surface. Improper or ill-fitting footwear. Arch problems. Training errors. Overuse. Over-pronation. Poor flexibility of the calf muscles (gastrocnemius, soles and plantar is) and Achilles tendon.
Signs and symptoms
Pain under the heel which is worse after exercise or when rising from an extended rest. Pain may diminish during exercise but return after the activity is stopped.
Complications if left unattended
Plantar fasciitis that is left unattended can lead to chronic pain that may cause a change in walking or running gait. This in turn can lead to knee, hip and lower back problems.
Rest. Ice. Ultrasound. Anti-inflammatory medication. Then heat and massage to promote blood flow and healing.
Rehabilitation and prevention
Stretching the Achilles tendon and plantar fascia will help speed recovery and prevent recurrence. A special orthodontic or insert for the shoe may be required at the beginning of the return to activity. Strengthening the muscles of the lower leg will also serve to protect the fascia and prevent this condition.
Most people with plantar fasciitis recover completely after a few weeks to a few months of treatment. Injections of corticosteroid may be necessary in cases where the fascia doesn’t respond to early treatment.
Massage is beneficial for plantar fasciitis. By reducing muscle tension, especially in the lower leg, increasing circulation, and by softening and stretching the collagen fibres in the fascia, massage can reduce the discomfort of plantar fasciitis as well as help the condition heal.
The plantar fascia stretches along the base of the foot between the calcaneus (heel) and the distal ends of the metatarsals. Plantar fasciitis is a painful condition of the plantar fascia that can result when it is overused, stressed, or injured. People generally feel more discomfort upon getting out of bed in the morning or after the foot has been immobile for a period of time, and the sole of the foot is often most tender just anterior to the calcaneus. There is some disagreement whether this is an inflammatory or degenerative condition, so treatments are understandably different. It is common to see a bone spur on the anterior edge of the calcaneus in x-rays of people who have plantar fasciitis, but it is not clear whether the bone spur caused or was caused by the fascial pain.
It is important for supporting the longitudinal arch of the foot, as a point of muscle attachment and for cushioning the bones of the foot. Repetitive ankle movement, especially when restricted by tight calves, can irritate the plantar fascia at the calcaneus. Pain is usually felt in the heel especially upon rising from an extended rest. Walking or running, especially on hard surfaces and with tight calf muscles, make an athlete more susceptible to this injury. High or fallen arches and incorrect footwear can also lead to plantar fasciitis.