Heel Pain Foot Pain Plantar Fascia Plantar Fasciitis Foot Care Heel Spurs

Most people will never need to know what the plantar fascia is, it is only when it starts to cause issues that they will find out. Unfortunately, once one has plantar fasciitis it can be a little too late to learn all about it, and the learning comes with a side order of pain. This article sets out to inform and educate you on looking after your feet and avoiding years of crippling heel pain.

The name of the plantar fascia is based in Latin. Plantar relates to the bottom of the foot, while fascia relates to a band of tissue. The name is an exact description of a part of your body, that is, a ligament type band of connecting tissue which links your toes and your heel. If you have ever seen a skeleton you may have noted that there are a lot of bones in the foot and in a model skeleton they are strung together loosely. When this skeletal foot is placed on the floor, though, the bones meet the surface, while a live foot has a very visible arch to it. While skin and muscle structure add to this, the plantar fascia is responsible for the main arch. It works in a very similar way to a bow used for shooting arrows, so the ends of the foot are drawn closer together by the tension of this springy bit of the foot. This allows the feet to lessen the impact of footfalls throughout the body, and makes the feet better at load bearing.

Plantar fasciitis occurs when the ligament is overworked and becomes inflamed. The symptoms of this are extreme pain, usually occurring in the heel. The condition is responsible for a high percentage of all heel pain, and the pain is usually worst after a period of rest. While this pain may respond to ice packs and anti-inflammatory drugs, it can be helped immensely by wearing well supporting footwear or having orthotics custom made. Further down the line ultrasound or operations may provide relief.

The condition can be avoided by looking after the feet well in the first place. Again, supportive footwear is indicated, as is protection from over-stressing the foot. Very vigorous exercise involving jumping or running, or being overweight can trigger problems. Those who start to feel heel pain should visit a doctor as soon as possible as prolonged issues may cause permanent damage such as heel spurs.