When the arch of the tendon of the plantar fascia becomes inflamed it is called planter fasciitis. It is an injury that results from overuse and can cause heel pain that can travel throughout the foot.
This condition is also known as heel spur even though the two conditions are not exactly the same. A heel spur is a bony growth while the plantar fascia or arch tendon becoming thick from under the heel to the front of the foot, which causes rupture, inflammation and pain, is different.
Those who have plantar fasciitis may experience heel pain that is felt under the heel area and on the inside. If you play intense sports like tennis and basketball where you are always moving or shuffling your feet, you are at high risk for plantar fasciitis. Those with this condition typically will feel the pain more in the morning. After walking around for a while the pain subsides.
The cause of plantar fasciitis is usually a tight calf muscle. The tightened calf muscle can lead to a prolonged pronation or rotation of the foot. This creates a repetitive overstretching of the plantar fascia, which will then lead to inflammation and thickening of the tendon. After thickening the fascia will lose its flexibility and strength.
The best way to treat plantar fasciitis is to rest until you no longer feel pain. When you walk on an injured area such as the foot you constantly re-injure it. This will keep the area inflamed. You can take the stress off of the plantar fascia by taping in strips across the plantar fascia in order to help take the stress off the area.
After you have taken the most important step to treating your plantar fascia, you need to apply ice. Using cold therapy you can reduce both the pain you feel and the amount of inflammation that is present.
Next, you need to stretch the plantar fascia, because it is when you stretch it that you are preventing the condition from returning. When the tendon is not stretched out at night, you will feel pain in the morning. You can rest your plantar fascia and still be flexing it as you sit.
Night splints can be worn at night while you are sleeping to help keep the tendon flexed and stretched. You can also use insoles to help keep the tendon stretched while you walk.
With proper attention to resting, stretching and being flexible you can realize less pain and a healing of the inflammation of the tendon. As in other forms of tendonitis rest is the single most important element to healing but often the most often ignored advice.