Plantar Fasciitis Study: ‘Chronic Inflammation’ Is Actually Degeneration Or ‘Break Down’ Of Sensitive Tissue

In the latest study on plantar fasciitis, there are new explanations for the painful foot condition. This is a study being reported on in multiple parts by the The Courier-Journal. Research conducted on this common condition involving micro-tears of ligaments suggests that “chronic inflammation” may have more to do the degeneration — or gradual breakdown — of tissue within the foot.

As Feet Genius explains in its definition of the painful foot condition, a vicious cycle of foot pain exists until appropriate treatment is sought.

Plantar fasciitis happens when the ligaments holding the bony joints around your foot’s arch relax too much. The arch then flattens more than usual, making the foot slightly longer. The plantar fascia can’t stretch, so it tears slightly. This always happens at the heel because a lot of force is focused there on a very small area.

Plantar fasciitis pain then goes away after the damage has been done and your foot has adjusted. More tearing happens the next time you put weight on your feet after relaxing. This plantar fasciitis cycle goes on, over and over again, until you eventually seek treatment for it.

As Feet Genius also reveals, this type of condition mostly affects older people, athletes, and military service members who must be on their feet for long periods of time. The Courier-Journal backs up the claim that plantar fasciitis happens to older people, by adding in its report that the condition striking one in ten people “comes on strong during the boomer years.” To make matters worse, older tissue heals slower to begin with. In other words, plantar fasciitis can be a nuisance to lifestyle.

So, when the main ligament in the sole of a foot begins to tear, it’s incredibly painful and hinders one’s activity. This is especially true since the arch is supported by the plantar ligament, which starts at the heel bone. This is when the attachment to the heel bone is most often the site of the pain. This ligament, in turn, “extends toward the front of the foot, the ligament ‘fanning out’ so as to insert at the base of each of the five toes.” The plantar ligament must have sustainable strength to pull tight. Given this role, an enormous amount of wear and tear to the plantar ligament is stressed each time someone gets up and moves around.

Treatment for plantar fasciitis may be anything from as simple as taking anti-inflammatories to undergoing surgery, Feet Genius reveals.

Plantar fasciitis typically affects one foot or the other. Pain is worst in the morning because tension in the plantar ligament has been eased and first stepping on the feet can be painful until the ligament is back in stretch mode again.

More on plantar fasciitis will be further examined in this study next week, according to the report.

[Photo Credit: Feet Genius]