Plantar Fasciitis Frequently Asked Questions - learn this new and exciting treatment for Plantar Fasciitis in only minutes!!|
What is Plantar Fasciitis?|
Plantar fasciitis (pronounced “PLAN-tar fash-ee-EYE-tis”) is the most common cause of heel pain. There may be others, like nerve entrapment, but plantar fasciitis is by far the most common. The plantar fascia is a strong fibrous, flat band of tissue (ligament) that connects your heel bone to your toes. It supports the arch of your foot, so your feet don't splay out. If you strain your plantar fascia, it can become weak and mightily painful, as you may develop tiny micro tears at the heel bone, which crush and stretch and tear more as you place your foot to the ground. The most common location for plantar fascia tears is at the “origin of insertion”, which is where the plantar fascia connects to the heel bone.
Who is most likely to suffer from Plantar Fasciitis?
Anyone can develop a case of plantar fasciitis, from quite young to the elderly. Great age can bring plantar fasciitis on suddenly and not necessarily by direct injury, but many younger people get it by not paying attention to what they demand of their feet in terms of sport, work or homelife.
What causes Plantar Fasciitis?
This list could be endless but things like:
Why is recovery normally so very slow?
- Slipping off a kerb by the roadside
- New shoes
- Rubbish/cheap/ill-fitting shoes
- Standing on a ladder rung, perhaps house painting (this needs strong soles)
- Running in the wrong shoes
- Standing on something hard, like a stone
- (sorry!) Being overweight
- Sudden increases in weight (pregnancy)
- Tennis, golf, football, rugby, sport in general
- Low arches (flat feet)
- High arches
- Lots of standing around (policemen, security guards, forces)
- Tight Achilles tendons or calf muscles
- Excessive pronation when walking
- People with a sedentary lifestyle
- Exercising on a different surface than you're used to
- Overuse or sudden stretching of your sole
- Dancers (ballet and/or club)
- Osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis
True; without treatment plantar fasciitis can hang around for up to two years. Part of the reason is that the plantar fascia is poorly supplied with blood, and so, like tendons and ligaments, once it is damaged, it can take a long time to heal. Blood is the key here. The one single thing that can heal body tissue effectively is oxygen. The blood carries oxygen and nutrients around the body to the cells, delivering life saving and healing energies to each and every part.
But not all parts are made equal. Fascial tissue, tendon and ligament are high density tissue, compared to say, muscles, and are fed by tiny, sometimes single track, capillaries. Relaxing tissue that is torn, scarred, suffering from a decrease in elasticity and repeated injury, is difficult, meaning the tiny blood supply can't keep up with the demands of the damaged tissue which already has this decreased healing response.
In addition, you will have waste build up in the area. Dead cells, scar tissue, stagnant lymph, bad chemicals, bacteria, everything you could wish for to encourage infection and slow healing.
So what's the point?
That's a fair question. Because the fascia healing exercises that we show you how to do to their best advantage, stimulates the blood flow to the places it needs to reach, so you get more oxygen, stimulates the lymphatic return, so damaged cells and waste are eliminated, bacteria destroyed, and new fluids drawn in as a replacement, both at an accelerated rate to normal, and both vital to the healing process of your fascia tissue.
Do I have to do plantar fascia strengthening exercises?
NO! Your plantar fascia is not a muscle, so you are not exercising it as if it were a muscle. Strengthing exercises will not strengthen your plantar fascia, but rather damage it more and more, locking you in an ever extending cycle of irritation and pain. No, you are doing specific tissue repair exercises and treatments. Very different to pumping weights.
Why should I be concerned about plantar fasciitis?
Because plantar fasciitis is what is known as a gateway injury. Meaning, it can produce problems elsewhere. You may soon develop knee, shin or ankle problems, including pain, because it is likely you will change your gait, which throws your whole body off balance. This means your muscles have to cope with a whole new system of movement which it may not be used to. Different stresses will have existing muscles doing work, and working harder than they did before, often resulting in pain.
One of the complications of plantar fasciitis can be tarsal tunnel syndrome. A type of nerve entrapment which is similar to carpal tunnel syndrome in the hands and wrists. The tibial nerve that passes through the narrow passageway can become pinched. One common symptom is numbness along the bottom of the foot, along with pain, burning or tingling.
At it's worst, plantar fasciitis can completely throw your hip out of alignment, which in turn will affect your back, lower and upper, and your entire posture. So not something to be taken lightly!
How did I get plantar fasciitis?
Many people that I have seen or treated don't rightly recall how they got their plantar fasciitis. Often it develops over time and one thing leads to another. Other times, it is obvious; I slipped off a step, or I trod on a marble. Often there can be some kind of change in activity levels, such as running, that occurred several weeks or months prior to the onset of the heel pain. Most spend too much time wondering and not enough time fixing. So I always go for the pro-active approach. Just work toward fixing it and monitor the situation. If it works quickly, then it was probably sudden onset. If the fascia is slow to respond, then look for contributing factors beyond the obvious, and eliminate them.
How long will it take for me to feel better?
A tough one to be sure. If you stick religeously to the program, you will see a difference in just days, improvement in a week or two, recovery in a few weeks. I can't be more specific than that, because some people will do the treatments on an hourly basis, some twice a day and some twice a week. But one thing is sure; If you do nothing, your plantar fasciitis will still be there weeks and months into the future.
Is it normal to only have pain in one foot/heel?
Yes. It is nearly always the case that one foot is weaker, more misaligned, softer, or more in the firing line, than the other. This one will go down first. Tissue, bone and muscle all work together, and the stresses on them vary from one side to the other. Other than direct injury, the weaker side will develop plantar fasciitis first, and if you don't do something, the other foot may follow quite quickly. This is because you will protect the injured foot and make the other one do far more than it's used too. Naturally, the additional stresses and strains can develop into plantar fasciitis fairly quickly.