What Causes Plantar Fascitiis?

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Plantar fasciopathy is the name for a painful condition that affects the thick fibrous connective tissue that starts near the heel at the calcaneal tuberosity and spans the bottom of the foot to the toes. It is more commonly referred to as plantar fasciitis but the term fasciopathy is a more accurate description. The fascia is a covering of the muscle that allows for smooth and gliding motion as the muscle comes into contact with other muscles. When the muscle becomes dysfunctional the fascia becomes pitted with adhesions which cause increased pain and friction.

There are many reasons why a muscle would become dysfunctional. In the case of plantar fasciitis it could be obesity which adds tension to the arch of the foot. Another reason would be if the person had a tendency to roll out their ankles inwards as this could lead to irritated fascia. For those who insist on wearing sandals or flip-flops they can expect higher incidence of plantar fasciitis. There is rarely a case of idiopathic fasciopathy, something is causing the fascia to scream out in pain.When it does I have a few suggestions to help yourself get out of pain.
Try and understand that your feet work tirelessly to support your body. It would be in your best interest to allow the feet to do their job by supporting them. By this I mean wear the right type of shoe. Flip-flops offer hardly any support at all. The body weight drags down on the longitudinal arch of the bottom of the foot. With a few added risk factors like increased age and inactivity it is not too long before the fascia starts to hurt. When it hurts it hurts a lot.

Plantar fasciitis is what is known as an overuse syndrome that quickly progresses to a degenerative process. Have you ever heard the term flat feet? Well if the arch is diminished you will have flatter feet. But you should know that in most cases the pain is limited to one side only. My training is as a chiropractor. What I have found anecdotally is that the side of pain almost always is the same side as the longer leg.
You may wonder what I mean when I say the longer leg. Most chiropractors will examine a patient in the prone position which means they are laying face down. Part of the examination is the analysis of which leg is shorter. Understand that 90% of the population has a short leg. It is called a functional short leg. The other 10% have what we call an anatomical short leg. This would be from the way you were born or if you had an accident. The anatomical short leg is something you have for life.

Back to how this applies to plantar fasciitis, the long leg will hit the ground faster by a millisecond because it is closer to the ground. While I have not done any studies this is my observation because I have treated so many cases of plantar fasciitis during my 20 plus years of practice. I should point out that the short leg is what most chiropractors are looking for when they examine a patient for their low back issues.
I do not think that a person with plantar fasciitis really cares if they have a long functional leg on the side of their painful foot. I had to get my chiropractor stamp into the discussion. Pain is pain and the main concern is how to get rid of it. One reason that plantar fasciitis is so painful is because there are so many nerve endings in the feet.

The brain rules the roost in case you did not know. The brain relies on the feet for input as to how balanced we are. There is a continuous flow of information from the feet to the brain to allow the brain to receive input from the nerves in the feet. The fascia is nerve rich so when it becomes problematic with adhesions present the nerves give off pain impulses. Depending on how much of a problem their is will determine the pain level coming from the bottom of the foot.

This is where you may want to take an Advil or Aleve. The fasciopathy will not be addressed but you may get some relief from the pain it presents. While we are on first aid I should point out that ice will reduce the pain and irritation quite nicely if done soon enough. The point here is that while TV will tell you to take Advil it will not stop a degenerative process. The dysfunctionality that caused the problem needs to be addressed to bring about true healing. This is why cortisone usually only helps for a short while. Cortisone is a powerful anti-inflammatory and should be used judiciously. It takes out swelling by suppressing the entire immune system. So be careful if you go down that route. In far too many cases I have not seen it work.

To be fair though, when I see a case of plantar fasciitis it has usually gone on too long and the patient has already tried several injections. So my perspective is from what shows up on my doorstep which is the really tough cases of plantar fasciitis.
I may have inundated you with technical terms in an effort to educate you about plantar fasciitis. Here is what I would leave you with. It can be helped but it will require work if it is really serious. I urge you to read up on it before you spend too much money chasing a cure.

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