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Your Body - Foot Injury/Pain

Also see Repetitive Strain

Plantar Fasciitis - Heel and Foot Pain.

Plantar Fasciitis is a common injury of the foot. While runners are most likely to suffer from Plantar Fasciitis, everyone who involves intensive use of the feet may be vulnerable. The risk of this injury increases in athletes who have a particularly high arch, or uneven leg length, though improper biomechanics of the athlete?s gait and simple overuse tend to be the primary culprits.

What is Plantar Fasciitis?

Plantar fasciitis refers to an inflammation of the plantar fascia, a thick, fibrous band running along the sole of the foot. Such inflammation results from direct injury to the plantar fascia, usually, repeated trauma to the tissue where the fascia attaches to the heel bone. The plantar fascia is critical in maintaining the foot?s complex arch system, also playing a role in balance and fine control of certain phases of the athlete?s gait.

Injury to the plantar fascia is particularly painful and disabling for runners and can often prove stubbornly resistant to treatment. Rehabilitation is frequently a lengthy and frustrating process. For these reasons, care should be taken where possible to avoid such injury by means of preventative exercises and sensitivity to early warning signs.

What causes Plantar Fasciitis?

Plantar fasciitis generally occurs over time, rather than being the result of a single event. Micro trauma from repetitive stress to the tissue often combines with a biomechanical deficiency of the foot to produce the condition. In addition, arthritic and metabolic factors may contribute to the development of this injury, (though they are unlikely to affect young athletes). A variety of training errors commonly lead to plantar fasciitis, particularly a rapid increase in either volume or intensity of athletic activity. Volume refers to the distance or time an athlete performs, while intensity refers to the pace of activity and/or the recovery time allowed following performance. Training on improper, hard and/or irregular surfaces as well as excessive track work in spiked shoes, or steep hill running, can stress the plantar fascia past its limits of elasticity, leading to injury.


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