The plantar fascia is the thick connective tissue which supports the arch on the bottom of the foot. It runs from the tuberosity of the calcaneus (heel bone) forward to the heads of the metatarsal bones (the bone between each toe and the bones of the mid foot).
The often painful condition plantar fasciitis is an inflammatory condition of the plantar fascia.
It has been reported that plantar fasciitis occurs in two million Americans a year and in 10% of the U.S. population over a lifetime. It is commonly associated with long periods of weight bearing.
A symptom commonly recognized among sufferers of plantar fasciitis is an increased probability of knee pains, especially among runners.
Heel bone with plantar fasciitis
An incidental finding associated with this condition is a heel spur, a small bony calcification on the calcaneus (heel bone), in which case it is the underlying plantar fasciitis that produces the pain, and not the spur itself. The condition is responsible for the creation of the spur, the plantar fasciitis is not caused by the spur.
Plantar Fasciitis is most often caused by the arch collapsing too much during both the gait cycle and while standing causing the arch to stretch beyond the length of the plantar fascia. This is often the result of the heel bone being allowed to move too far on one side or the other which allows the arch to collapse further than it should. It can happen to us over a long period of time with weak arches due to improper training of the foot muscles and tendons. It can also happen quickly due to a change in activity such as gaining weight or increase in exercise or a misstep on uneven terrain.
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Other foot related problems