The plantar fascia is the primary shock-absorbing structure in the foot and ligamentous in nature, and when things go wrong with it, you experience pain in the arch of the foot usually near where it inserts onto the heel bone (calcaneus). The problem with the plantar fascia is…location, location, location. You can’t rest it or take pressure off it. Keep in mind, nighttime is the body’s time to heal, to rest and repair from all we do to it during the day. So after a day of running, standing on hard floors, or wearing bad shoes, later during the night the plantar fascia will undergo inflammation in the attempt to repair the micro-tearing within the fibers of the plantar fascia. This is a normal part of the healing process. It will swell, and all these nice new little delicate fibers will lay down during the process. Unfortunately, unlike most structures which have time to adjust and grow stronger according to the stresses placed on it, there is generally no half-way with the foot. You jump up out of bed to get to the bathroom, the plantar fascia has had no chance to warm-up and slowly adjust...just wham, all your body weight slams through it in one foul swoop. Those first few steps feel like something is tearing, and indeed it is, all those new little delicate fibers that attempted to replace the damaged tissue have just been ripped apart. To a lesser extent, that same process happens when you are sitting for an extended period, and that is why those first few steps after sitting for a long time are also very painful.
This answers the question of why plantar fasciitis can hang around so long, the body can’t get a jump start on the healing process because every morning we tear apart the healing that went on during the night. There are some things that one can do to address this, if you are interested in a few tips, please let me know by responding to this blog. Of course, I have to say the advice is general and not specific to your condition, nor is it meant to be an evaluation or diagnosis of your specific problem, and always consult your physician or physical therapist regarding your specific condition.
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Gregg L. Parkerfor the Madison Spirit
A Madison mother pursued a medical career that appealed to her two daughters, and they joined the same field.
Janet Nesin started her career in physical ...
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