Do you wake up every morning with excruciating pain in the bottom of your foot? If so, then you are among the nearly 10% of people who will experience heel pain at some point in their lives. Our Orlando staff regularly treats patients with musculoskeletal conditions and one of the most common diagnoses we see for foot conditions is plantar fasciitis. Though this may be a term you’ve heard before, it’s important to understand the differences between fasciitis and a similar-sounding condition called fasciosis which has a dramatically different treatment.
Plantar fasciitis (pronounced: fa-SITE-iss)
The plantar fascia is the web-like structural ligament connecting the heel to the bones near the ball of the foot and toes. This ligament or tissue provides structural support to the arch of the foot and is prone to injury with overuse and decreased circulation. Plantar fasciitis is the initial stage of inflammation that happens in response to injury of the tissue. In younger people, running is the most common cause. This makes sense as each time your heel strikes the ground, some cells are damaged. Over time you create inflamed tissues in the area. For elderly patients, the most common causes for inflammation include degeneration of the ligament, arthritis, and diabetes.
Plantar fasciosis (pronounced fa-SEE-osis)
Plantar fasciosis is considered a chronic condition of the ligament. Arteries pass from your leg through your ankle providing circulation for your foot. One of these, the posterior tibial artery, is important because it provides blood flow to the bottom of the foot. It becomes compressed when your big toe is bent inward towards the other toes cutting off proper blood supply. Over time, tissues in the plantar fascia and near the heel begin to die resulting in pain. In some cases, improper footwear is a factor. Shoes that push your big toe inward can cause deformity (bunions) of the foot but, equally important, they eventually begin to kill the tissue in the heel where the plantar fascia begins.
To recap, plantar fasciitis happens when you cause inflammation locally to the area, think feet pounding on the pavement. Plantar fasciosis happens when there’s long-standing inflammation or when blood flow to the area is restricted for a prolonged period, think months or years. So, what about treatment? They may sound similar, but the treatments couldn’t be more different. And the wrong treatment can make the condition worse, so the correct diagnosis is critical.
The treatments for fasciitis (local inflammation) are ice, stretching and rest. The treatments for fasciosis (pro-longed condition) are heat, massage, and strengthening exercises.
The good news is that information for all of these types of treatment can be found online.
Since much of it is self-care. Here’s one good example: https://www.webmd.com/fitness-exercise/what-can-i-do-plantar-fasciitis#1
Keep in mind it may not require physician supervision. If you or someone you know is suffering from heel or bottom of the foot pain, Nightlife Chiropractic may be able to help. Call us at (407) 982-7733 to schedule your consultation and exam. And we are open late, so it is easy to make an appointment.