I know what your thinking a podiatrist blogging about plantar fasciitis, wow shocker. Right? I have tried to stay away from blogging about this syndrome because it seems to be synonymous with podiatry. However, I recently found this you tube video on treatment of the plantar fasciitis that I felt compelled to blog about it. I like this video because it gives you the basic anatomy of the foot, which is so important for understanding plantar fasciitis.
We must first understand what the plantar fascia is and what its functions is. The Plantar fascia is the name of a band of connective tissue that stretches from the base of the toes, across the arch of the foot, to the point at which it inserts into the heel bone. The plantar fascia is very densely woven connective tissue that covers the muscles of the foot . For this post, I will take a more simplistic view of the plantar fascia, which is made up of three major components.
These three components being elastin, collagen, and ground substance. Elastin are rubber-like fibers that have stretch and recoil to them, and you can think of them as rubber bands. They provide much of the stretchiness of fascia. Collagen fibers act like tough threads, providing strength and support. The more collagen fibers tightly connected (or woven) together, the stronger that portion of the fascia is. The third component is called ground substance, and we can think of it as a thick lubrication. This thick lubrication provides shock absorption, just like the gel pads in running shoes, as well as lubrication to the elastin and collagen fibers. This is an amazing aggregate provides strength, flexibility, and sock absorption.
Etiology of Plantar Fasciitis
Excessive stretching of the plantar fascia can result in microtrauma of this structure either along its course or where it inserts onto the calcaneus (the heel bone). This microtrauma, if repetitive, can result in chronic degeneration of the plantar fascia fibers. The loading of the degenerative and healing tissue of the plantar fascia may cause significant plantar pain, particularly with the first few steps after sleep or other periods of inactivity.
Treatment for Planter Fasciitis
Some of the most conservative treatments for this condition consist of the use of anti-inflammatory medications, ice packs, stretching exercises, orthotic devices, and physical therapy. Note: Please consult your physician before taking any medications.
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