Plantar Fasciitis – The Anatomy & History of Treatments
Have you ever heard of plantar fasciitis? You may be familiar with this medical condition from having a family member or friend suffer from it, or perhaps you’ve experienced it yourself. In today’s blog, we’ll dive deep into plantar fasciitis and explore the anatomy and history behind the condition, as well as potential treatments. We’ll also discuss how to recognize the symptoms, who is at risk of developing it and look at the preventative measures that can help to avoid any pain associated with this problem in the future. Join us on our journey to learn more about plantar fasciitis!
Plantar Fasciitis is a condition synonymous with painful heel syndrome, subcalcaneal pain, calcaneodynia, runner’s heel, and calcaneal periostitis – is the most commonly encountered cause of foot discomfort. It encompasses an inflamed thick band of tissue known as the plantar fascia which connects your toes to your heel bone at the bottom of your feet. If disregarded or inadequately treated, this pathology could incur negative repercussions on physical movement and life quality in general.
Plantar fasciitis is an intriguing condition, with a history tracing all the way back to 1812. It was initially defined by Wood and associated with tuberculosis, but since then has gone on to be known under various other names such as painful heel syndrome or subcalcaneal pain. To further understand this ailment better, learning more about its past can be incredibly useful.
As the science of podiatry evolved, experts discovered ever more regarding plantar fasciitis. Nowadays, it is one of the most frequent medical problems that modern-day podiatrists are educated in diagnosing and managing. If you suspect that you might have this condition, don’t hesitate to contact your nearest foot doctor today!
Related: Where does Plantar Fasciitis Lead if Left Untreated?
The plantar fascia:
- Originating on the periosteum of the medial calcaneal tubercle and composed of long strands of white fibrous connective tissue, this structure is thinner at its base but becomes thicker in its central portion.
- The plantar fascia envelops the flexor tendons in five bands as it passes through the thicker central portion and all five metatarsal heads.
- Pain in the plantar fascia can manifest as insertional or non-insertional, affecting not only its central band but potentially extending to the lateral and medial bands.
- The Achilles tendon’s paratenon perfectly complements the intrinsic musculature of the foot, as well as its skin and subcutaneous tissue.
- This flexible and robust fat pad is capable of bearing up to 110% of body weight while walking, and an astounding 250% when running. Its remarkable resilience can be seen more clearly in barefoot walking than in shod-walking.
Plantar fasciitis is an incredibly common and debilitating foot disorder, yet the exact cause still remains unknown. However, it’s believed that regular injury leading to micro-tearing of the plantar fascia at its origin on the calcaneus results in damage to this connective tissue band and consequent inflammation.
Many researchers believe that plantar fasciitis is a type of tennis elbow at the heel. It is thought to be caused by continuous, low-level trauma near where the plantar fascia inserts into the foot.
As we traverse on foot, the heel inevitably touches the ground, which causes inward tibial movement that in turn leads to stretching of the plantar fascia. This consequently flattens out the arches of our feet as more pressure is generated due to this stretching.
To put it simply, this arrangement acts as a buffer to absorb the shock and strain of walking. Risk factors such as obesity or improper footwear can cause plantar fascia’s fibers to stretch excessively, leading to micro-tearing in the medial prominence/tuberosity of the calcaneus -the source of Plantar Fasciitis. When left neglected, these tears bring about the deterioration of fascial tissues along with their related connective elements.
Related: What is Heel Pain and What Products are best to Relieve it
- Experiencing agony in your heels the minute you take your first step out of bed or after being stationary for extended periods.
- People with this condition may exhibit a limp or display signs of toe walking as their preferred gait.
- When navigating hard surfaces or climbing steps without shoes, the resulting pain can be severe.
- Many patients may have experienced an abrupt spike in their activity level just prior to the manifestation of symptoms.
- You may experience a soft, delicate sensation on the inner side of your heel.
- Limited dorsiflexion and tight achilles tendon.
Plantar fasciitis is, generally speaking, a transient condition; nevertheless, when treatment begins sooner rather than later after the start of symptoms, faster resolution can be expected. An array of treatments are accessible including rest and stretching exercises as well as strengthening activities and changes in footwear such as arch supports or orthotics.
Night splints may also help reduce pain while anti-inflammatory agents and surgery remain available options for those more severe cases. Fortunately, plantar fasciitis is treatable with a personalized intervention that takes into account each person’s risk factors to determine their own most effective methods of relief.
Related: Heel Spur: Cause, Symptoms, Treatment, and How to Avoid It
ESWT as Treatment for Plantar Fasciitis
Have you ever heard of Shockwave treatment? Otherwise known as Extracorporeal Shock Wave Therapy (ESWT), it is a non-surgical approach for treating plantar fasciitis in the feet. It involves using mechanical sound waves to deliver stimulating shockwaves into the heel, thus reviving blood flow and accelerating the healing of inflamed fascia tissue. With this revolutionary process, we can restore comfort and mobility faster than with other methods!
Shockwave treatment, also known as ESWT, offers a painless and non-invasive method of treating soft tissue injuries. By sending extracorporeal waves outside the body without disrupting or destroying any of its tissues, this therapy stimulates nerve pathways to reduce discomfort almost immediately while triggering natural repair processes. Consequently, it speeds up recovery times significantly with minimal effort!