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Plantar Fasciitis is the most common foot complaint and the main cause of heel pain Jan Oblak Camiseta , heel spurs and also arch pain. Millions of people suffer from Plantar Fasciitis, especially the over 50?s. Fortunately for 80-90% of Plantar Fasciitis sufferers there are some very effective treatment solutions available. Definition: Plantar Fasciitis (pronounced "plantar fash-eee-eye-tiss") means litterally ?inflammation of the plantar fascia?. Plantar Fasciitis is also called ?Policeman?s Heel?. Plantar Fasciitis is often associated with calcaneal spurs (heel spurs). Symptoms: Plantar Fasciitis usually presents itself as a sharp pain, experienced at the underside or front of the heel bone. Often the pain is worse with your first steps when getting out of bed in the morning. For most people Plantar Fasciitis pain is more severe following periods of inactivity or rest, when getting up. After a short while the sharp pain subsides, turning into a dull ache. In the morning Jackson Martinez Camiseta , stiffness and swelling in the heel area may be present. The condition starts gradually with mild pain at the heel bone often referred to as a stone bruise. You're more likely to feel this after (not during) exercise and walking. Most people will put up with heel pain for at least 6 weeks before seeking (self)treatment, information andor advice. If Plantar Fasciitis is left untreated, it may become a chronic condition and treatment will become far more difficult. Also, Plantar Fasciitis sufferers tend to avoid putting weight on the sore heel and will try to walk on the forefoot in order to avoid pressure on the heel. With this abnormal walking pattern one could easily develop problems in the knees, hips or back. Anatomy: The Plantar Fascia is a thick Oliver Torres Camiseta , fibrous band of connective tissue that runs from the heel bone (calcaneus) along the sole of the foot like a fan, being attached at its other end to the base of each of the toes. It is a tough and resilient ligament structure that performs a critical function during walking and running. The Plantar Fascia acts as a ?bowstring? connecting the ball of the foot to the heel. It forms the longitudinal arch of the foot and helps to lift the heel off the ground to prepare the foot for the 'take-off' (propulsive) phase of the gait cycle. During walking, at the moment the heel begins to lift off the ground, the Plantar Fascia endures tension that is around twice our body weight. The Plantar Fascia also act as a natural shock-absorber during walking and running. Causes of Plantar Fasciitis: Plantar Fasciitis is Latin for inflammation of the Plantar Fascia. This inflammation occurs at the point where the fascia attaches to the calcaneus (also known as the heel bone). So what causes the Plantar Fascia to become inflamed? There are a number of various reasons for this to occur. For example, you are more likely to develop Plantar Fasciitis Fernando Torres Camiseta , if you are over 50 years old, if you're overweight, or pregnant, or if you have a job that requires a lot of walking or standing on hard surfaces. You're also at risk if you do a lot of walking or running for exercise (overuse injury). And if you have tight calf muscles (which a lot of people have) you?re also more likely to develop Plantar Fasciitis. Research has shown, however Antoine Griezmann Camiseta , that the number 1. cause for Plantar Fasciitis is over-pronation (or fallen arches). Over-pronation of the feet is very common, at least half of the population has this problem, but most people don?t realise they have this condition! Over-pronation simply means that the feet and ankles roll inwards too much during walking and that the arches collapse. With age, most people tend to over-pronate. However, this condition is not uncommon in children and teenagers Koke Camiseta , as well as athletes. When the arch collapses the two outside points of the bow (being the heel and ball of the foot) are being placed farther away from each other. This puts repetitive stress on the Plantar Fascia. The attachment of the fascia into the heel bone is a tiny area of tissue, compared to the wide attachment area to the toes. Therefore, the constant excess pulling on the fascia will do damage to the weakest attachment point. Over time irritation occurs at the heel bone, followed by inflammation and micro-tearing of the plantar fascia tissue. Sometimes swelling is present. If the pulling continues the heel bone will ?respond? and a bony growth will develop on the front of the heel bone. This is referred to as a ?heel spur?. Interestingly, the heel spur itself doesn?t cause any pain Tiago Mendes Camiseta , but the inflamed tissue around it does. Plantar Fasciitis Treatment options: Fortunately, most cases of Plantar Fasciitis can be treated effectively at home. Firstly, you need to refrain from activities that cause pain such as long walks, running, sports and standing for long periods. Rest allows any swelling Guilherme Siqueira Camiseta , inflammation andor pain to subside. Applying ice (or a heat pack) to the heel area and using anti-inflammatory pain killers like Advil or Nurofen (both contain ibuprofen) will provide immediate pain relief. However, long term, effective treatment of Plantar Fasciitis consists of a simple program of daily stretching exercises, combined with wearing an orthotic to support the arches. Gentle stretching of the Plantar Fascia, the Achilles tendon and the calf muscles will all help making your feet and a lot more flexible Filipe Luis Camiseta , which in turn will help reduce the exessive pulling of the Plantar Fascia. Do the stretches fist thing in the morning and avoid walking barefoot on hard floors and tiles. Instead, slip on a pair of shoes with an orthotic inside them. Repeat the exercises (especially the calf stretches) a few times during the day. You can find the complete Plantar Fasciitis stretching exercise program here. Or talk to your physiotherapist or podiatrist about specific exercises. Sometimes practitioners will prescribe a night splint, designed to gently stretch the fascia during th?.