Plantar Fasciitis is the most common cause of localized heel
pain and is the most common problem seen in medical
practices today. It is typically caused by a biomechanical
imbalance resulting in tension along the plantar fascia. This
strain causes inflammation of the plantar fascia, a ligament
structure that supports the arch of the foot. The plantar
fascia is the thick connective tissue that runs from the heel
bone to the ball of the foot. When this ligament stretches
beyond its normal capacity, the soft tissue draws closer to
the heel bone which leads to inflammation and heel pain.
“Plantar Fasciitis is the most common cause
of localized heel pain…”
The body’s tendons, ligaments and muscles start to lose the
normal elasticity and resilience during the course of aging,
making them more prone to strain during normal daily
activities. In active young and middle aged adults, plantar
fasciitis is typically caused from activities such as running,
walking or even jumping on hard surfaces. Athletes and
soldiers are often affected by plantar fasciitis as they spend
a considerable amount of time on their feet. Plantar fasciitis
is also influenced by the mechanics of the foot. Conditions
such as flat feet, high arches, pronation or having an
abnormal gait (the way in which the foot hits the ground),
can cause the fascia tissue to become overworked or
stretched abnormally resulting in tears and inflammation.
Other contributing factors include inward twisting of the
ankle and obesity.
The position of the feet and ankles in sleep promotes
cramping of the fascia and calf muscles. Under the weight
of a blanket the plantar fascia contracts with the pointing of
ones feet. Most sufferers will feel morning pain because the
fascia ligament tightens up during the night while sleeping,
causing pain to diminish. However, when climbing out of
bed pressure is placed on this ligament and it becomes
taut and pain is particularly acute. Pain usually decreases as
the tissue warms up, but may easily return again after long
periods of standing or weight bearing, physical activity or
after getting up after lethargy or sitting down.
- Tightness in the Achilles tendon
- Pain that worsens when climbing stairs or standing on
- Noticeable discomfort after long periods of standing
- Tenderness or throbbing that lessens with activity but
returns during rest
- Stiffness and hurting in the morning or after resting
that gets better after a few steps but gets worse as the
“The most effective treatment commonly
involves the use or combination of night
Prescribed treatment of most plantar fasciitis cases can be
remedied with relatively simple conservative methods
or a combination of the following; rest, ice, stretching,
stregthening, night splints, supports, heel cups, orthotics
and anti-inflammatory agents. The most effective treatment
commonly involves the use or combination of night splints,
which have been proven to speed healing and reduce the
associated heel pain and inflammation from plantar fasciitis.
In general, plantar fasciitis is a self-limited condition.
Symptoms will resolve quicker when the interval between
the onset of symptoms and treatment is shorter. Usually,
plantar fasciitis can be treated successfully by tailoring
treatment to an individual’s risk factors and preferences.
DME Treatment Analysis:
- Night Splints are designed to comfortably position the
foot in a controlled amount of dorsiflexion to provide a
gentle stretch to the plantar fascia and Achilles tendon.
This gentle stretch helps reduce the muscle contracture,
inflammation and associated heel pain and helps promote
healing of plantar fasciitis.
- The AirHeel, by Aircast, is a Plantar Fasciitis Support.
Specifically designed to treat plantar fasciitis, Achilles
tendonitis, and heel pain. Using two interconnected aircells located under the foot arch and in back of the heel, the
AirHeel applies pulsating compression with every step
to help reduce swelling and discomfort, and enhance
circulation. It’s made of lightweight breathable fabric and
is simple to apply, just slip it on like a sock and adjust the fit
with one strap.
- The Plantar Fasciitis Support, by Bledsoe, provides
continuous elastic tension and pressure to reduce the pain
associated with inflammation due to plantar fasciitis. It
effectively reduces pain, allowing patients to strengthen
the muscles of the foot, arch and lower leg as well as
stretch the Achilles tendon to provide relief and prevent
future discomfort from plantar fasciitis. The strap maintains
tension continuously during use reducing painful
inflammation while exercising the calf and foot muscles.
- Heel Cups reduce heel pressure, absorb shock and
relieve pain. The blue spot is a softer durometer profile for
enhanced comfort. The shape of the cushion and medial
position of the soft, blue spot help relieve pressure and
pain on the most sensitive area of the plantar fascia.