If you long for days when getting out of bed wasn't so tough on your feet, you may be suffering from plantar fasciitis.
Patients with plantar fasciitis often complain of such foot pain after standing up in the morning or after a long period of sitting. The pain originates just in front of the heel bone, but can spread over the entire bottom of the foot. Over time, inflammation associated with the condition can lead to the development of scar tissue, calcium deposits and eventually a heel spur, which is a bony growth that can cause a sharp stabbing pain every time people with the condition walk.
Plantar fasciitis often develops in people who have other foot conditions, especially pes planus (flat feet) and over-pronation. Flat feet are feet that have little or no arch, while over-pronation occurs when the foot rolls too far inward when people walk. Both of these conditions can cause excess stress on the plantar fascia and lead to a mild form of plantar fasciitis.
A number of factors can exacerbate plantar fasciitis in those with preexisting conditions, as well as cause plantar fasciitis by themselves. People who are constantly on their feet, such as nurses, teachers and waiters, are more susceptible, as are athletes who participate in foot-stressing activities such as aerobics, volleyball, running, basketball and tennis.
Many other factors also put excess stress on the feet and cause or contribute to plantar fasciitis. Sudden strenuous activity after a period of long-term inactivity, abnormal walking patterns, improper footwear, walking on hard or uneven surfaces, weak foot muscles, muscle imbalances and obesity are among the chief culprits.
The thing that unites these factors is that they overwork the plantar fascia, which is a band of connective tissue that surrounds the muscles on the bottom of the foot like plastic wrap. The plantar fascia runs from the heel to the forefoot, connecting the heel bone to the ball of the foot, supporting the arch, protecting the foot and absorbing shock. Any abnormal stress related to preexisting foot conditions or excess activity can strain the plantar fascia and lead to irritation, inflammation and severe pain.
Depending on which factors caused the condition, chiropractors tend to care for plantar fasciitis with different techniques. And since everyone's case is unique, there is no specific timeline outlining when the foot will heal. Once your chiropractor determines the underlying cause or causes, however, he or she will develop a management program that will quickly decrease inflammation, which is the first step to decreasing pain.