A very distinctive symptom of plantar fasciitis is acute pain in the middle and the inside rear of the heel first thing in the morning or / and after prolonged sitting.
There is no discoloration and generally no swelling involved. Even if swelling does occur, it will be minimal. Although the symptoms are telltale, this pain in the foot is many times misdiagnosed, and all too often accompanied with x-rays.
Probably the most common mis-diagnosis of plantar fasciitis is that the person suffering the pain believes that they are afflicted with a heel spur.
For quite some time it was believed that the excruciating pain was caused by inflammation and tearing of ligaments that attach the heel bone to the metatarsal bones.
Abnormal pronation was, and still is considered the primary factor of the development of plantar fasciitis. However, more recently it has been discovered that the problem is not a flattening of the foot, but instead a dramatic torquing and twisting action of the ligaments.
As far as the pain goes, it isn’t located in the fascia, but rather in the lining of the periosteum of the bones which the fascia are being pulled away.
The twisted planter fascia are tearing the lining away from the bone. Now the bone itself has no nerve endings and cannot feel the pain. However, the periosteum is packed with ultra sensitive nerve endings, and when it is being pulled away from the bone, the pain will light you up.
It is abnormal pronation that leads to this powerful torque action that causes the planter fascia to twist and subsequently pull away from the bones. This most commonly occurs at the heel bone area.
All of this occurs as a result of over pronation occurring between the heel area and the foot area.
More precisely, it is the heel that is not pronating sufficiently as the foot strikes the ground; and the front of the foot over-pronates as it hits the ground.
These two opposite reactions causes the planter fascia to twist (and as a result of the twisting) and subsequently shorten. As you can imagine as the planter fascia twists and shortens, eventually the tearing and pain will begin occurring.
So how do we deal with plantar fasciitis?
Prevention is obviously the first choice in the course of action. By working with your healthcare provider, many times you can identify the risk of plantar fasciitis before it actually occurs or when its effects are quite mild, and take corrective action.
As with any type of foot pain problem, wearing the proper shoes or using some type of orthotic can help.
If the planter fasciitis has become more severe, obviously more aggressive measures must be taken to relieve the pain.
Recovery time for planter fasciitis is completely dependent upon the level of severity.
If the condition is mild, a person can be relatively symptom-free within a couple weeks. This of course is provided that the proper footwear and orthotics are worn as prescribed. If the condition is more severe and acute, recovery time can take weeks or even up to three months. However, having said that the recovery time could be even longer if the condition is not properly treated.