Plantar Fasciitis: A Connective Tissue Issue

Physical Symptoms of Plantar Fasciitis

People with plantar fasciitis experience sharp pain in the arches and heels of their feet during normal standing and exercise activities. Often the pain is worst in the morning, but some people only feel it after standing for a long time, or after exercise.

What Is The Plantar Fascia? – Tissue That Supports the Arch of the Foot

The plantar fascia is the part of the foot affected by plantar fasciitis, so it’s worth getting an idea of what it is and how it works. The good news is that this isn’t too difficult.  The arch of the foot and the plantar fascia form what can best be described as a bow, as in a “bow in arrow.” The arch forms the limbs of the bow and the plantar fascia forms the string. Put another way, the plantar fascia is a sheet of connective tissue which stretches from the heel to the toes underneath the arch (bow) of the foot. When you step, you put weight on the arch which then stretches the plantar fascia. The job of the plantar fascia is to maintain the arch; without it the arch would just collapse under the weight of your body. In actuality, the plantar fasciitis does a pretty good job supporting the arch. However, the problem occurs when it becomes chronically stressed or injured.

Classification of Plantar Fasciitis: Mostly Collagen Degeneration

So, the plantar fascia is a sheet of connective tissue made out of mostly collagen which is actually similar to a tendon or ligament. Plantar fasciitis is often classified as an inflammation and/or thickening of the plantar fascia, but actual tissue inflammation is minimal and secondary to collagen degeneration (which is actually more similar to tendinitis).  This means that it’s not just all pain and inflammation; collagen depletion in a tissue that is made primarily of collagen is not good. The plantar fascia is actually eroding. It’s kind of like having termites in your feet.

And who wants that? Book your appointment with Balance Orlando today for a free consultation on guided stretching exercises that will alleviate the pain of plantar fasciitis.

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