Plantar Fasciitis occurs when the long, flat ligament along the bottom of the foot develops tears and inflammation. Serious cases of plantar fasciitis can possibly lead to ruptures in the ligament. This ligament is called the plantar fascia and it extends from your five toes and runs along the bottom of your foot, attaching to your heel. When you walk or run, you land on your heel and raise yourself on your toes as you shift your weight to your other foot, causing all your weight to be held up by your plantar fascia. Such repetitive force can pull the fascia from its attachment on your heel and cause damage and plantar fasciitis.
What Causes Plantar Fasciitis?
The repetitive stress of certain conditions or activities commonly leads to plantar fasciitis. Among those conditions that may cause plantar fasciitis:
Biomechanical factors, such as abnormal inward twisting of the foot (pronation), high arches, flat feet, or tight tendons along the back of the heel (Achilles tendon).
Excessive pronation has been found in about 85% of those who suffer from plantar fasciitis. Pronation can be responsible for added tension in the plantar fascia as the arch lowers during standing or walking.
Repetitive pressure on the feet, such as from jobs or activities that require prolonged walking or standing on hard or irregular surfaces. Running and exercise can also lead to wear and tear on the plantar fascia.
Aggravating factors, such as being overweight or having poorly cushioned shoes.
Natural process of aging which may cause tissue in the heels to weaken over time and/or promote wear and tear.
In rare cases, a single, traumatic injury to the foot such as from a motor vehicle accident can cause the onset of plantar fasciitis.
For instance, chiropractic care can address some of the contributing causes of plantar fasciitis (or help mitigate some of the reasons your plantar fasciitis might be worsening).
Think of plantar fasciitis like a flat bicycle tire. You would be wise to deal with the cause of the flat tire (e.g., sweep away the thorns on the sidewalk so you don’t get another flat tire in the future). But to deal with the flat tire itself, you’ll need to patch up the puncture.
Chiropractic care can help you deal with significant contributing factors to plantar fasciitis, one of them is bad posture. The way you walk and the amount of impact generated by your feet because of your body posture can worsen or contribute to plantar fasciitis. A chiropractor can help you improve your posture, which will in turn improve the way your feet feel as you walk or move!
If you suffer from plantar fasciitis in one foot more than the other, it could be that your weight isn’t very balanced across your feet–which bear that weight. A chiropractor can help realign and balance your body so that the weight is distributed more evenly and isn’t falling more heavily on one foot versus the other, allowing the affected foot to heal more quickly and reducing the chance of symptoms recurring. Depending on the severity of your plantar fasciitis, your chiropractor may prescribe a store-bought orthotic or custom-fitted orthotic to help distribute your foot pressure more evenly.
Chiropractic care can help you feel well in other ways besides balancing your weight and improving your posture. Eliminating aches and pains in your back, neck, and shoulders, can help you feel more positive about your health and life in general, which can in turn encourage you to follow through with simple exercises that will help you heal more quickly from plantar fasciitis.