Side Effects of Plantar Fasciitis | Saginaw Foot Doctor

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According to the Mayo Clinic, plantar fasciitis is one of the most common causes of heel pain, and it involves irritation of a thick band of tissue–known as the plantar fascia–that runs along the foot’s underside.

By Martin Hughes

According to the Mayo Clinic, plantar fasciitis is one of the most common causes of heel pain, and it involves irritation of a thick band of tissue–known as the plantar fascia–that runs along the foot’s underside. The Merck Manuals website states that, because there is seldom inflammation present in the plantar fascia, the condition is more appropriately termed plantar fasciosis. The side effects of plantar fasciosis include foot pain, altered mobility and a greater likelihood of pain in other body parts.

Foot Pain

According to the Merck Manuals website, plantar fasciosis is characterized by foot pain–often on the bottom of the heel–while weight bearing. The pain associated with plantar fasciosis often is most acute upon waking, and the pain typically improves within five to 10 minutes, only to reappear later that day. Plantar fasciosis-related pain is worse during the push-off or propulsive phase of gait. Tears of the plantar fascia are also possible, and may involve severe heel pain, along with swelling in the involved area. Some people with planter fasciosis may experience burning pain along the inside edge of the foot while walking. If pressure applied to the heel bone or calcaneus on the underside of the foot causes pain, it’s likely that plantar fasciosis is responsible for the discomfort. Most cases of plantar fasciosis can be treated conservatively, using shoe therapy, toe spacing products and manual therapies, such as massage or instrument-assisted soft tissue mobilization.

Altered Mobility & Quality of Life

Altered mobility and decreased quality of life are significant side effects of plantar fasciosis. According to the Nicholas Institute of Sports Medicine and Athletic Trauma or NISMAT, with progression, the pain associated with planter fasciosis may begin interfering with activities of daily living. Some people find that, when symptoms arise, they are unable to walk long distances. The inability to perform the usual activities of daily living can significantly reduce a person’s quality of life. While this is true for most people, it may especially be true for athletes or active people who derive physical, mental, social and spiritual health benefits from exercise or competition. Runners, especially, may find the relative immobility and decreased activity levels problematic. However, according to Dr. James Russell Ebbets, a chiropractic physician and faculty member at New York Chiropractic College, an extended period of relative inactivity is necessary for optimal recovery. Ebbets notes that a partial commitment to this aspect of the plantar fasciosis treatment plan can prolong the condition, decreasing both the quality and enjoyment of further physical activity or athletic participation.

Ankle, Knee, Hip & Back Pain

One of the possible side effects of plantar fasciosis is pain in another part of the body, including ankle, knee, hip and back pain. This side effect is seen most commonly in runners and hikers. According to Dr. Stephen M. Pribut, a Washington, D.C.-based podiatrist specializing in sports medicine and biomechanics, pain associated with plantar fasciosis may cause a person to walk on her toes or alter her running stride and gait. Gait alterations may, in turn, cause further damage to the foot, induce problems in a healthy foot or lead to ankle, knee, hip and back pain. The Sports Injury Clinic website states that being able to move efficiently is important in avoiding injuries. Stiff joints, muscle tightness, limited ranges of motion, weak muscles and pain in the lower extremities will cause a person to alter their gait to compensate for the problem, which leads to biomechanical abnormalities, muscle imbalances, uneven joint wearing and problems up the entire length of the body’s kinetic chain.

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Ankle and Foot Institute of Texas
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