Plantar Fasciitis Anatomy
- The plantar fascia is a thick band of fibrous connective tissue that extends from the medial (inside) aspect of the anterior heel bone (calcaneus) and extends to the base of the toes.
What Does The Plantar Fascia Do?
- The plantar fascia plays a major role in supporting the body’s weight in the foot.
- During heel strike, it acts as a shock absorber to lessen the impact with the ground.
- During push off, it helps create a more rigid foot to assist with propulsion of the foot.
How Does Plantar Fasciitis Happen?
- It is important to note that there are more than 50 diagnoses that can create Plantar Fasciitis (or heel pain) symptoms.
- The cause of plantar fasciitis is often unclear and can be caused by multiple factors. A few these factors can include:
- Repetitive microtrauma
- Overuse / fatigue
- Jobs that require long periods of prolonged standing, especially on hard surfaces
- Improper exercise or training regiments
- Sudden increase in intensity and/or duration
- Poor shoe wear during exercise
- Other orthopedic pathology:
- Flat feet
- High arches
- Excessive lateral tibial torsion
- Excessive femoral anteversion
- Leg length discrepancy
- Fat pad atrophy
- Musculoskeletal dysfunctions:
- Hamstring, calf, and achilles tightness
- Foot, ankle, and calf weakness
- Lumbar and pelvic (Core) instability
Plantar Fasciitis Symptoms
- Heel pain
- Arch pain
- Greatest intensity of pain with first couple of steps right away in the morning or after prolonged sitting
- Pain with prolonged standing or walking
Articles Related to Plantar Fasciitis
- Biomechanics of running and what plantar fascia does:
- During running, the vertical forces in the foot at foot strike may reach 2-3 times an individual’s body weight. The plantar fascia and longitudinal arch are also part of the foot’s shock absorption mechanism. During the heel-off phase of gait, tension increases on the plantar fascia, which acts as a storage of potential energy. During toe-off, the plantar fascia passively contracts, converting the potential energy into kinetic energy and imparting greater foot acceleration (medscape)