I have meant to write about this for a really long time but, as the saying goes, it is kinda complicated and I sometime lack the mental energy to write about complicated things.
Heel and foot pain, and “plantar fascitis” are excessively common. And common medical problems are obviously talked about a lot. The down side of that is that they are not always talked about or much less understood correctly. “Plantar fascitis” is a close contender to “sciatica” as a misused term that in reality covers more than one problem. And in the case of plantar fascitis, as in sciatica, knowing more exactly what you are dealing with is pretty important because they may require drastically different treatments.
For starters, you need to understand a bit about foot anatomy. If you peel back the layers from the bottom of your foot (for now, stick with doing that in your head only…), you will encounter a complex layer of ligamentous fascial tissue that has various attachments in the bones of the mid foot and toes, and for the most part, one common origin in the front of the heel bone called the calcaneus. The latter area is where you will have a large portion of your problems and symptoms.
Past the fascial and ligamentous layer, you will encounter several layers of muscular tissues. Some of those muscles start in the posterior calf and only their tendons are present in the sole of the foot; some muscle have their origin and attachments in the foot proper and are called intrinsic muscles.
Past the muscle layer, you will encounter the actual bottom of the bony arch of the foot, comprised of a series of bones arranged in the loose shape of an arch, connected in complex articulations that are designed to “give” under normal weight bearing conditions.
To be continued next week…