A few months ago, my husband, an avid runner like myself, began to complain of a slight pain in his right heel. It was nothing too uncomfortable, but enough to make him limp from time to time when he stood up to walk after sitting for awhile. He continued to do his daily runs but soon noticed that the pain and discomfort not only remained, but intensified. In fact, it seemed to affect his whole foot at this point.
I encouraged him to purchase some new running shoes, as the ones he had were incredibly worn out. He heeded my advice, but that did not seem to alleviate his problem. After speaking with a physical therapist at a race event a couple of weeks later, he realized he might be suffering from plantar fasciitis. While visions of me pushing him around in a wheelchair painfully danced through my head, we decided to do some research on the matter. He is slowly improving while undergoing certain therapeutic measures to reduce the pain. He still runs, but just not as much as he was used to running. With time, he hopes to be back on track with his exercises.
What is plantar fasciitis, exactly? According to the experts at www.sportsinjuryclinic.net, it is a painful condition caused by the over use of the plantar fascia, or arch tendon, of the foot. This is a broad, thick band of tissue that runs from just under the heel to the front of the foot.
Typically thought to be an inflammatory condition, that notion has been refuted with the discovery that there are no inflammatory cells within the fascia. What causes the pain and dysfunction is now believed to by degeneration of the collagen fibers close to the attachment to the heel bone.
Among the many signs of plantar fasciitis are heel pain, usually under the heel and to the side. There may be pain when the inside of the heel is pressed and sometimes along the arch. The pain is usually more pronounced in the morning as the fascia will tighten overnight. Once the foot gets warmed up, the pain will lessen. If the condition gets worse, the pain will intensify throughout the day. Even stretching the fascia can be painful.