WHAT IS PLANTAR FASCIITIS
What is plantar fasciitis is a common question among runners.
Most likely at one time or another they have felt twinges in their heel when they get out of bed and take those first few steps.. No doubt they have heard how it can impact racing and training and want to avoid it.
The plantar fascia is a thick connective tissue that runs from the ball of the foot back to the heel.
This band supports your arch and is what helps spread your weight out over the bottom of your foot with every single foot impact whether running or walking.
If this band actually has a partial separation from the heel a calcium deposit called a “heel spur” might develop and this usually requires much more healing time.
Normally the first pain that is experienced is near the heel at the bottom of the foot. It seems that as the problem progresses that there are two distinct times when the pain appears to be the worst.
The pain will be most noticeable when a person sits for a long time, say for instance at work in an office or in front of the t.v., or especially after getting out of bed.
These are the times that the plantar fascia has the opportunity to tighten up and the trauma caused to the bottom of the foot is at it’s worst.
That’s why if you have this problem, the pain eases a bit as you walk around and stretch the plantar out, but as soon as you are off your feet the plantar fascia will begin to tighten up once again.
When people ask, “what is plantar fasciitis?” I suppose what they really want to know is what causes it.
There are a few common reasons why plantar fasciitis develops in the first place. The over-all cause is putting too much pressure on the bottom of the foot.
That can happen if one is over-weight but the most common cause is wearing shoes that do not have enough support.
For example if a runner wears the same running shoes for years on end and they have no support left it is just asking for injury to occur.
A rule of thumb seems to be that a pair of shoes is good for about 500 miles and after that they lose much of their support and cushioning effectiveness.
Another cause is over-pronation, or put more simply, too much rolling of the foot and ankle with each step.
Taking strides that are too long can also stress the plantar fascia. Doing this seems to cause the calves and fascia to tighten.
It seems that the long distance runners learn over time to take more shorter strides as opposed to fewer long ones.
It is far more efficient and you can even notice while running that it is more comfortable than stretching out your feet too far in front of you when you run.
More about plantar fasciitis from WEB MD