It seems Dr Google tells everyone with heel pain that they have plantar fasciitis. And while it is common, it isn’t the only source of pain. Do you know what it actually is?
The plantar fascia is a thick band of connective tissue (think the outside of a leg of lamb). It runs along the arch of your foot. When it becomes inflamed or has some minor tearing, the condition is known as plantar fasciitis.
Pain from plantar fasciitis is usually in your heel and/or along the arch of your foot. It can be worse with the first few steps in the morning and may also ache with prolonged sitting or standing.
In most cases, plantar fasciitis is an overuse injury which is from overstretching of the plantar fascia. This can be due to many reasons such as poor foot biomechanics, weak foot and calf muscles, weak gluteal muscles, poor footwear or a sudden increase in exercise. Weight gain, including pregnancy, diabetes and arthritis are all also risk factors.
Plantar fasciitis can also be caused from a direct trauma (e.g. stepping on a rock) which then causes an inflammatory response, and pain.