Plantar fasciitis – What really causes it and the best way to overcome this painful condition.

What is plantar fasciitis?
Plantar fasciitis (sometimes referred to as plantar fasciopathy) is an injury to the plantar fascia, a piece of tissue that extends from the base of the heel towards the toes on the underneath surface of the foot.

What are the signs and symptoms of plantar fasciitis?
Plantar fasciitis is often experienced as pain anywhere along the length of the plantar fascia between the heel and the toes. Most commonly pain from plantar fasciitis feels like ‘heel pain’. This pain is often felt most with first steps in the morning, after periods of rest (for example: getting up after sitting on the couch) or after extended periods of activity, like working in a standing occupation all day.

What causes plantar fasciitis?
Simply put, plantar fasciitis is caused by inflammation (swelling) or a problem within the cellular structure of the plantar fascia.

What REALLY causes plantar fasciitis?
Injuries always occur for a reason. In most cases, people with plantar fasciopathy very rarely recall a certain incident that caused the pain. Rather, people with plantar fasciitis often recall a gradual onset of pain that has increased over weeks or months. So what caused the gradual onset of the painful condition in the first place? Part of our job as podiatrists is to be a little detective-like and look for the underlying reason for injury. In most gradual onset painful conditions, like plantar fasciitis it is almost always related to factors related to repetitive behaviour, like occupational activities or walking patterns.

What is the BEST way to overcome plantar fasciitis?
Understanding the causative influence for any injury such as plantar fasciitis is always the best place to start when looking to achieve the best long term results. A thorough assessment identifying these influencing factors is essential and with this assessment there is in most cases more than one causative factor identified.
When all of these factors are addressed you can have confidence and understanding with a progressive improvement throughout your recovery and your return to the activities you enjoy. For a thorough explanation of the influencing factors for injury you can learn more here:

https://www.proactivehm.com.au/how-do-orthotics-work/

Written By:
Daniel Monteleone,
Podiatrist, Strength and Conditioning Coach,
Proactive Health & Movement

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