STATEMENTS ON THIS WEBSITE REFER ONLY TO THE ORIGINAL FasciaDerm® Heel Pain Relief System (in the orange package) which is no longer sold. For information regarding FasciaDerm PFTAPE® contact Mueller Sports Medicine or visit MuellerSportsMed.com. PFTAPE® is a trademark of Mueller Sports Medicine. FasciaDerm® is a trademark of Applied BioKinetics LLC.

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Engineering an Effective Plantar Fasciitis Remedy

Engineering an Effective Plantar Fasciitis Remedy

The Search for a Plantar Fasciitis Remedy

Despite all the advancements in medical science, a fast acting, non-invasive and cost effective solution to plantar fasciitis has been elusive to this very day. Even general agreement on an effective plantar fasciitis remedy has not been established. Articles in sports sections of major newspapers bring this debilitating heel pain and its lack of an effective remedy to the forefront, as high profile professional athletes remain questionable for months on end. Even with the seemly unlimited resources of a major league team at their disposal, high profile athletes continue to struggle with plantar fasciitis.

The comment section of these on-line articles are overflowing with comments from an array of professionals debating which device, treatment or approach is good, bad or best. It is obvious that the knowledge of a truly effective plantar fasciitis remedy, if it does exist (and we know one does), is not commonly known.

The average consumer is faced with lots of confusing information, as well as an array of devices and gimmicks which are only marginally effective, at best. The average plantar fasciitis sufferer can spend months on end battling pain. During this prolonged period, treatment costs can really accumulate. Cushions, straps, sports tapes, ointment, pills, stretching devices, doctors visits, x-rays, physical therapy, custom orthotics and steroid injections can really add up. It is common for those who seek treatment to see their total spend accumulate into the hundreds or even thousands of dollars in the search for heel pain relief and a return to a normal, pain free life.

What is the mechanism behind the sharp pain in the heel after periods of rest?

The body is a wonderful and remarkable system, but has its biomechanical limits. If we exceed these limits, we can cause damage, which results in inflammation and pain. Simply put, exceeding the level of peak or cumulative stress on the plantar fascia is the cause of plantar fasciitis. The fascia is extremely tough material. Think of the last time you cleaned or prepared a chicken – the thin, white, tough membrane you encounter is fascia. The plantar fascia is a much thicker and tougher, as it endures a higher level of tensile stress than another element of the human body. Although extremely resilient, it can suffer damage in the form of small tears. Once tears in the fascia occur, inflammation is the body’s first response. The inflammation accumulates and forms a pocket of fluid around the damaged tissue as we sleep or rest. Due to its dense nature, this accumulated liquid then absorbs an increased amount of pressure as the foot interacts with the floor during our first few steps in the morning or after periods of rest. This results in a sharp, excruciating pain described to feel like an “ice pick in the heel.” This sharp pain is the result of pressure (your weight against the floor) being transferred via the accumulated fluid (inflammation), directly into the sensitive and damaged tissue.(Ouch)

The pain then subsides to a much lower level after a few steps as the accumulated fluid is absorbed back into the surrounding tissue, by the forces applied from the ground surface during walking. What happens when we sleep or rest again? Fluid associated with the body’s inflammatory response accumulates again. This pattern continues for months, as healing of the plantar fascia is inhibited by a continuous cycle of stress and re-damaging newly forming fascia occurring each time the body attempts to recover. The key to breaking the cycle of damage and inflammation is to protect the plantar fascia from the stress which is interrupting the healing process.

Why has an effective plantar fasciitis remedy been so elusive?

The medical community is full of brilliant and highly trained individuals. However, much of this training is focused on treating symptoms of ailments, and not always getting to the root cause. If a patient is experiencing inflammation, the inflammation is what gets treated. The reality is that plantar fasciitis is a mechanical or biomechanical issue, and can therefore addressed from a combined engineering and biomedical perspective. Treatments which focus on inflammation alone (e.g injections) miss the root cause, that being repetitive stress on the plantar fascia. Devices which support the arch or sit beneath the heel do little to limit damaging stress during “heel lift” or propulsion phase of the gait cycle. Sports tapes and strappings can be used to provide short duration support to the foot, but these quickly lose effectiveness (i.e. often in minutes) as the materials elongate, and adhesives slip. General purpose taping products, while they may be effective in supporting soft tissue, they fall short when it comes to providing the high degree of durable support required to take, (and maintain) a therapeutic level of load off of the plantar fascia. In order for the fascia to have its best chance for a timely recovery it must be effectively supported and protected. Even short periods of a few steps, or just a portion of a portion of a single step, can re-injure newly forming fascia – thus continuing the cycle of tissue damage, inflammation and pain.

The FasciaDerm Heel Pain Recovery System was engineered to provide durable and optimized support to the plantar fascia in an easy to apply adhesive support system. FasciaDerm (derived from FASCIA: tough connective tissue and DERM: pertaining to the skin) has been engineered with a design, material properties and adhesive technology, which enable it to support in a manner similar to that of an external or artificial fascia. FasciaDerm’s fabric provides the high and consistent degree of support required to protect the plantar fascia for up to 24 hours per day, per application. When the plantar fascia is protected from damage or re-injury, the cycle of inflammation can be broken, and rapid pain relief can be achieved. Simply put, FasciaDerm allows your plantar fascia to rest, while you remain active.

Let’s imagine you have a broken bone in your arm…

If you were to tell the doctor one of the following:

  • “My broken arm is not healing well, and I don’t understand why. I am wearing a cast most of the time.” OR
  • “My broken arm is not healing well, and I don’t understand why. I am wearing an elastic bandage to provide it some support.”

The doctor would be quick to point out you must protect the broken arm fully and consistently (with a cast) if you expect a timely recovery.

When it comes to having an injured plantar fascia, only the FasciaDerm Heel Pain Relief System provides the optimum level of consistent support, stress reduction, and protection to the plantar fascia required to allow the body to perform its amazing healing and recovery work. FasciaDerm was developed from an engineering-based approach, resulting in an elegant, effective and easy to apply system to address plantar fasciitis heel pain. When the fascia is properly protected, the cycle of damage, inflammation, and most importantly pain, can significantly subside in a matter of just a few days. It is not uncommon for FasciaDerm users to report a significant reduction in pain within the first few days of use.

While protection of the fascia for a period of days (i.e. minimum of 6 days) after pain subsides is recommended to allow the fascia more time for recovery, the immediate support and rapid reduction in pain are always welcome improvements. Many high-profile athletes, trainers, physical therapists, podiatrists and chiropractors are observing this newly enlightened model for treating plantar fasciitis.

The “FasciaDerm Moment”

Occasionally you will hear of professional athletes suffering all season, just to have a miraculous recovery at a key moment in their season: big games, playoffs or championships. We believe they have a “FasciaDerm Moment,” found out of desperation (and encouraged by timely free samples of our product). It is during a FasciaDerm Moment that they realize that a small Texas Company (Applied BioKinetics LLC) offers a new paradigm forged through a multidisciplinary approach that really makes sense. The outcome is simple, yet profound…“protecting the plantar fascia in a durable and consistent manner is one of the keys to enabling a timely recovery from heel pain.”  FasciaDerm provides this therapeutic level of support in a consistent manner.

“My Plantar Fasciitis appears with no warning – In the past it has been visits to the Podiatrist, steroid shots, and wearing 2 pair of of socks and sneakers to the office for a few months before the pain subsides. I heard about this product from a friend and decided to give it a try. In just 2 days my heel pain was greatly diminished and completely gone after approximately 1 week. The instructions were easy to follow and the straps were thin and flesh colored which worked great under stockings for work. Awesome design and worked fabulously. No More Foot Pain!!”
– Michel

*The typical retail cost to the consumer for a treatment with FasciaDerm to the point of a lasting pain relief with is less than $50 (a 12 day treatment pack). Others may require longer treatment but the vast majority of consumers reach the point of sustained relief for under $100 (the cost of one 30-day Pro Pack).

FasciaDerm users often report a significant degree of pain relief in the first 1-4 days. Typical product use duration is 9-18 days, which includes a number of days beyond the point where pain has subsided. Results will vary.

Note: This blog article may by re-posted upon request. Simply request permission by email to sales@fasciaderm.com. We only ask that you provide a link back to FasciaDerm.com and credit the article appropriately.

Recovery from Plantar Fasciitis

Our previous articles have been focused on describing the symptoms of plantar fasciitis and to provide an overview of the most commonly recommended heel pain treatments. In this post, we take a look at the process of recovery from plantar fasciitis to better understand it from a biological and biomechanical perspective.

Cure for Plantar Fasciitis

There is only one scientifically proven cure for plantar fasciitis. Unfortunately that cure is time, and lots of it. One study drew this conclusion after surveying a large group of plantar fasciitis sufferers, then followed up on subjects after an extended period of time (over 24 months later). Researchers found that over that timeframe, nearly all cases of plantar fasciitis had been resolved, even those cases which went untreated by participants. It is a common premise that the time required for recovery from plantar fasciitis can be shortened by “rest.” However, for effective results, this means “bed rest” – a no-impact rest that completely removes the potential for re-injury.

Since no stress is placed on a healing fascia during “bed rest,” the body has the opportunity to repair the small tears in the fascia. A complete pause in activity can end the inflammation cycle and bring pain relief. This type of passive recovery model has plenty of benefits – it’s drug-free, low-cost, natural and very effective. However, it is also slow (can take weeks) and so limiting as to be unrealistic for most people. Work, family, social and other obligations have us scrambling for more time to DO things, making bed rest appear to be “out of touch” with the demands of modern life.

When you are in pain, managing a single day can seem like an eternity. Pair that with our desire for immediate results, and it becomes pretty clear that few individuals are in a position to be able to just wait out the pain. It is common for cases of plantar fasciitis to continue for months on end. So what can you do if the sharp pain in the bottom of your foot can easily linger for six months to a year, even with current medical treatments (see comparison of plantar fasciitis treatments)?

For those seeking a ‘quick fix’, painful steroid injections can provide some relief by reducing the inflammation and associated pain. Inflammation is the body’s natural response to injury. If you have inflammation, then it safe to assume the underlying tissue has been stressed, damaged or irritated. Unfortunately, injections are not without risks, and they primarily address the symptom of inflammation, not the root cause of the condition. While these treatments bring pain relief, they wear off and typically need to be repeated in a few weeks’ time, usually with a limit of 2-3 total injections. This is certainly one path to feeling better, but if no other treatment is in place to facilitate healing the patient may be extending his recovery time and missing an opportunity to make significant healing progress. The effectiveness of injections can be increased when combined with a support system (we recommend the FasciaDerm Heel Pain Relief System) which provides protection and support to the fascia, especially during the critical recovery process.

The Problem: Continuous Interruption of the Healing Process

The fascia is a tough connective tissue that runs along the bottom of the foot. It is incredibly durable and resilient when healthy. Once damaged, however, the fascia is very vulnerable to re-injury. Under a microscope, the fascia’s physical structure can be described as similar to a collection of bundled fibers (think of a steel cable of rope-like structure). While the structure is intact, stress is distributed throughout the tissue and handled effectively in support of the foot’s anatomy. However, damage to the fascia takes the form of tears in the structure. If nothing is done to limit the stress placed on this damaged tissue, it is common for the fascia to undergo a repetitive cycle of damage and inflammation as activity continues. Even a single step or incident of moderate stress can re-damage newly forming fascia, which is attempting to repair the injured area.

Supporting the Foot

The plantar fascia undergoes tremendous stress during the walking cycle. A peak of stress occurs during the foot contact phase as the arch is flattened by the forces of the body against the ground. This arch flattening is called pronation. Supportive footwear, insoles and arch supports can be helpful in preventing plantar fasciitis by managing stress through this portion of the walking cycle. If your plantar fasciitis was caused by excessive time on your feet, you should invest in supportive footwear. However, don’t expect footwear alone to bring you the fast pain relief you seek. Near 24/7 support of the fascia during recovery from plantar fasciitis is essential to breaking the cycle of damage and inflammation (i.e. this includes the portions of the day when you are not even wearing shoes). FasciaDerm is compatible with orthotics, insoles and all footwear.

Stretching of the calf muscles and weight loss are also helpful preventative measures. However, stretching the plantar fascia during the healing process risks re-damaging newly formed fascia, which can delay recovery from plantar fasciitis. We suggest avoiding any activity which can re-damage new tissue during the early phase of recovery, including fascia stretching or aggressive massage techniques. If you have a night-time splint or stretching device, stop using it now. You can potentially re-introduce it as part of a prevention or maintenance program once your bout of plantar fasciitis is over.

For many (particularly athletes), the maximum and potentially most damaging stress on the fascia occurs during propulsion, or the heel lift phase, of the gait cycle. Insoles, arch supports and heel pads do little to reduce the stress on the fascia during heel lift. Clearly, stress through the full walking cycle needs to be effectively managed to ensure a timely recovery from plantar fasciitis. FasciaDerm is compatible with, and can increase the effectiveness of the support provided by orthotics, insoles, heel pads and footwear. FasciaDerm also provides vital protection to the fascia during the portions of the day when no shoes are being worn. FasciaDerm can be worn for up to 24 hours per day (even during sleep) to provide support and protection through all load bearing hours.

For a timely recovery from plantar fasciitis heel pain to occur, a continuous, uninterrupted condition of low plantar fascia stress must be maintained.

For most people with plantar fasciitis, the telltale symptom of this condition is the pain experienced when taking a step after a long period of rest (or sleep), due to severe inflammation of the fascia. The inflammation is part of the body’s natural response to injury. It is necessary to stop the cycle of continuous tissue damage in order to alleviate inflammation and relieve the pain.

The Origin of the FasciaDerm Heel Pain Relief System

FasciaDerm has been developed from the ground up to provide all-day support to the plantar fascia, in order to create conditions (similar to bed rest) conducive to a rapid recovery from heel pain. It is common for FasciaDerm users to report an immediate feeling of support and significant pain relief within just a few days of use. To achieve lasting heel pain relief, typical use of the product is in the range of 9-18 days*, making FasciaDerm a cost effective solution for plantar fasciitis heel pain. The actual treatment period will vary from patient to patient. We recommend that use of FasciaDerm is continued for a period of 6 days (or more) after the pain has subsided to allow newly formed fascia to strengthen to better resist re-injury. Many active people, including walkers, hikers and travelers use FasciaDerm to protect their fascia during periods of increased activity, as a preventative measure. If you are prone to plantar fasciitis, FasciaDerm is great to keep on hand as it can be used from the moment you first experience pain symptoms.

“This is a GREAT product!!! Product was received without delay. By the end of day two I walking with very slight pain. I was pain-free by the end of day three. I started running again on day 10. I probably could have started running sooner, but I chose to let the healing process continue before I put the foot under stress conditions.”
– Steve M., Houston, TX

*Most users experience significant pain relief in the first 1-4 days. Typical product use duration is 9-18 days, which includes a number of days beyond the point where pain has subsided. Results will vary.

Plantar Fasciitis Treatments

In our last article, “What is Plantar Fasciitis?,” we described the classic plantar fasciitis symptoms, common causes of heel pain and tips for prevention. For anyone dealing with plantar fasciitis heel pain, ongoing inflammation in the fascia makes everyday activity painful, uncomfortable and frustrating. Conventional plantar fasciitis treatments include non-invasive options, as well as medical procedures ranging from injections to surgery. In this article, we will break down the most commonly recommended plantar fasciitis treatments to help you identify the pros and cons of these treatments and the typical results you can expect.

Unfortunately, each of the conventional treatments listed below has limited effectiveness, so the average person normally moves from one treatment to the next. According to WebMD.com, “most people recover completely within a year,” which means that someone searching for heel pain relief may have to try multiple methods over a long period of time, during which they may spend lots of money, agonize with daily pain and generally suffer a reduced quality of life.

The goals of a plantar fasciitis treatment plan should include:

Plantar fasciitis treatments comparison

Treatments compared.

  • Providing pain relief in the shortest time possible
  • Minimizing disruption to our daily lives (e.g. minimum inconvenience, and enable a timely return to normal activities)
  • Creating conditions which enable the body to achieve a lasting recovery
  • Minimize the financial burden (i.e. total spend)

Initial Plantar Fasciitis Treatment

Many people suffering from plantar fasciitis will first try simple home remedies, such as applying ice to the heel, or taking a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAIDs), such as Advil®. While some users may experience a degree of relief, due to the severity of plantar fasciitis pain many sufferers report that NSAIDs barely take the edge off their pain.

Other common “first steps” include taping the foot with conventional therapeutic elastic tapes (e.g. Kinesio) or rigid athletic tapes. If taped properly, a user may experience some pain relief and support to the injured fascia. However, therapeutic elastic tapes were designed to support muscles and other soft tissues. It is critical to note that kinesio tape was originally designed to provide 140% elasticity (the same elasticity as human skin). This ease of elongation and low rebound quality is well suited for supporting soft tissue and muscle, but lacks effectiveness in supporting the much tougher plantar fascia. Rigid athletic tapes can provide support temporarily but have been shown to lose effectiveness within less than 30 minutes of use as the product stretches and the adhesives slip. According to published studies, taping has not been demonstrated to be a cure for plantar fasciitis. The fact is that both of these categories of taping product are more of a general purpose in nature, and they were not designed specifically for the difficult task of managing plantar fasciitis stress.

Those with plantar fasciitis may try one of the above approaches for a month or longer before realizing that there is no significant improvement. In their search for other plantar fasciitis treatment options, they often seek out advice from medical or sports websites, including blogs and forums. Most-web-based resources tend to direct visitors to the “next steps” listed below.

That Didn’t Work…What’s Next?

Often, these users will be steered into night-time stretching devices, which are designed and marketed specifically as a plantar fasciitis treatment. The biggest problem with this approach is that stretching is most effective as a preventative method, and stretching damaged tissue is an indirect treatment and has not been demonstrated to provide rapid results. Furthermore, while stretching is beneficial to healthy fascia, it may be counterproductive during recovery because it can lead to the re-injury of newly formed tissue. Nevertheless, this treatment is often mistakenly promoted to those with fascia inflammation, and stretching devices are readily available locally or online.

Another problem with stretching devices is that they are very inconvenient, and many users find it difficult to sleep while wearing the device. Moreover, during the active, load-bearing hours of the day, these devices do not protect the the fascia from re-injury, which can often leave the user back at square one.

We recommend stretching devices only if you are prone to bouts of plantar fasciitis, but are NOT currently suffering from heel pain. This will help improve calf flexibility which can aid in preventing recurrence of heel pain due to PF.

Other treatments that are commonly recommended include heel cushion products or over-the-counter orthotic devices, such as soft or rigid arch supports. Once again, these products are only partially effective at best. These products are ineffective during the propulsion phase (“push-off”) of the walking cycle. Not supporting the fascia in this critical phase makes it vulnerable and often contributes to a continuous cycle of micro-trauma, which in turn prevents a timely recovery.

Depending on the severity of heel pain being experienced, the mix of treatments described can stretch over many months and still fail to deliver adequate results. This lack of positive progress often frustrates those with heel pain, and they give up on trying any new treatments. In some cases, the prospect of incurring additional cost plays some role in this decision. Instead, they revert back to whichever combination of the above methods seemed to deliver the most reduction in pain and wait it out.

Time for a Second Opinion?

A small percentage (estimated to be less than 20%) of those suffering from plantar fasciitis heel pain will eventually seek medical care, only to find that the medical community has limited options available. We’ve listed these here.

Non-invasive Treatment Options:

  • NSAIDs – Sound familiar? As the most “conservative” treatment option available, doctors and nurses will often advise that one use an NSAID to dull the pain.
  • Padding and Strapping – Usually felt padding applied during a consultation with a podiatrist. This is an “apply-once” treatment that must be kept dry and worn for a number of days. Because of the foot’s shape and the stiffness of the padding, it may be difficult to put on certain types of shoes. Just as with other tape products, this technique may start losing effectiveness as materials stretch and adhesives slip.
  • Scraping (Graston technique) – A painful physical therapy procedure that consists of “scraping” the plantar scar tissue with a handheld device (very firm handheld device-to-skin contact). The goal is to break down the scar tissue externally, and the patient’s level of inflammation and scar tissue buildup can make this an excruciating plantar fasciitis treatment option.
  • Stretching Devices/Stretching Exercises – Not advisable for someone currently suffering from plantar fasciitis as it can can set back the healing process. Excellent when you are not currently suffering from plantar fasciitis to avoid a recurrence or extend the time between bouts.
  • Bed Rest – A great treatment option, but the most limiting and inconvenient – who can afford to remain in bed?
  • Night-time Stretching Devices – Uncomfortable to sleep in, and does nothing to protect fascia from re-injury during normal activities. May be good when used with health fascia to extend the time between bouts by improving flexibility.
  • Orthotics – Transition into orthotics while suffering from plantar fasciitis can be very painful as the rigid structure of the orthotics often adds pressure to the injured fascia. It is much easier to adjust to these devices when you are not suffering from an inflamed fascia. However, proper support to the biomechanics of foot (such as can provided by correctly fitted orthotics) is one of keys to avoiding a returned bout of plantar fasciitis.

Other Treatments:

  • Steroid Injections – Injections are directed at the damaged fascia, meaning that the area is already inflamed. This can make the injections extremely painful. These injections are typically administered as a series, repeated a few weeks apart, with a maximum of three to four injections typically being allowed.
  • Immobilizing Boots – These devices protect the fascia and address the root cause, but only when worn compliantly (used throughout all load-bearing hours of the day). However, they compromise mobility, limit activities and are cumbersome and inconvenient.
  • Surgery (Endoscopic plantar fasciotomy) – This is the most invasive plantar fasciitis treatment option available. Cost, time to recovery and associated risks should all be carefully considered prior to any type of surgery.

As you can see, the basic toolkit from a medical practitioner’s standpoint doesn’t offer a convenient, fool-proof, and risk-free method for helping one overcome plantar fasciitis. That’s where the FasciaDerm Heel Pain Relief System comes in.

Got Plantar Fasciitis? Get FasciaDerm

For the plantar fascia to have the best conditions for recovery, it should be protected from excessive tensile stress during the entire walking cycle, and through all active, load-bearing hours of the day, regardless of whether the user is wearing footwear or not. It is only in protecting the fascia in this manner that one can expect to halt the continuous cycle of re-injury, and true progress toward lasting recovery can begin. Remember the clear, specific plantar fasciitis treatment goals we outlined above? They included:

  • fast pain relief
  • minimal disruption or discomfort
  • lasting recovery
  • low cost

Only FasciaDerm meets all of the above criteria, delivering results that no other plantar fasciitis treatment can match, and at an unbeatable low cost. FasciaDerm was designed specifically for the treatment of plantar fasciitis, so every characteristic – from precisely-engineered support, to ergonomic fit and convenience of application – was designed to solve the problem of managing plantar stress without compromising effectiveness. For these reasons, doctors and sports medicine professionals are using FasciaDerm to help their patients and athletes get healthy and back to normal.

“My Plantar Fasciitis appears with no warning – In the past it has been visits to the Podiatrist, steroid shots, and wearing 2 pair of of socks and sneakers to the office for a few months before the pain subsides. I heard about this product from a friend and decided to give it a try. In just 2 days my heel pain was greatly diminished and completely gone after approximately 1 week. The instructions were easy to follow and the straps were thin and flesh colored which worked great under stockings for work. Awesome design and worked fabulously. No More Foot Pain !!”
– Michel

Get off the “treatment treadmill” (or avoid it altogether) with the FasciaDerm Heel Pain Relief System. FasciaDerm is 100% guaranteed to reduce plantar fasciitis heel pain when used as directed.

Plantar fasciitis treatments comparison
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What is Plantar Fasciitis? Understanding Heel Pain

Editor’s Note: This is the first of a series intended to equip you with an enhanced understanding of plantar fasciitis (or morning heel pain) so that you can make informed decisions regarding treatment and recovery.

What is Plantar Fasciitis?

Many people suffer from a painful condition whose name is hard to pronounce, and which for most people, just as difficult to heal from: Plantar Fasciitis (pronounced: Plantar Fa-cee-I-tis). This is a painful condition of the foot often described to feel like an ice pick in the heel during the first few steps in the morning, or after periods of rest. The sharp pain typically lessens after a few minutes or after a few very painful steps. During the active hours of day the pain may decrease to simply an uncomfortable, achy feeling usually described to feel like a bruise or soreness in the heel. While plantar fasciitis may cause pain anywhere along the arch of the foot, it is most commonly experienced in the heel area, and often only affects a single foot.

Understanding Plantar Fasciitis is Key to Your Recovery

What is plantar fasciitis? Typical heel pain locationThe underlying condition is the result of damage to the tough connective tissue (known as the fascia) which runs along the bottom of the foot and serves as a “shock absorber” for normal movement, including weight bearing, walking and running.

The Plantar Fascia

The plantar fascia is the strong connective tissue connecting the ball of the foot to the heel bone. This tissue is widest and strongest near the ball of the foot and it tapers to its thinnest (and weakest) near its attachment to the heel bone.

The plantar fascia works in conjunction with other bones of the arch of the foot, mediating the impact for every step we take. The plantar fascia stretches and rebounds as the foot interacts with the ground – vital for ensuring the proper functioning of the foot – as well as supporting the healthy, overall mechanics of the body.

Plantar Fasciitis Explained

Repetitive or excessive tensile stress in the fascia can lead to small tears in the tissue that cause plantar fasciitis. These small tears result in inflammation, which in turn causes pain. If healthy tissue on the bottom of the foot is damaged (as in plantar fasciitis) the body responds by inflaming the area around the damaged tissue. During periods or rest or sleep the inflammation accumulates, contributing to the excruciating pain experienced during the first few steps in the morning. As one stands or walks for a few minutes, the local inflammation is forced to disseminate back into the surrounding tissue. This typically helps reduce the severity of pain experienced throughout periods of activity, until the next prolonged period of rest. However, pain upon first standing is most often a clear sign of damaged tissue.

The amount of damaging stress placed on the fascia is influenced by age, activity level, degree of flexibility (for example, tightness of calf muscles), body weight, foot structure and the supportiveness of footwear.

diagram-color-pf

Avoiding Plantar Fasciitis

The key to avoiding plantar fasciitis is to manage the stress placed upon the fascia. To a certain extent, this stress can be managed by:

  • maintaining good flexibility, especially in calf muscles
  • managing body weight
  • limiting sudden changes in activity levels
  • always wearing supportive foot wear.

However, plantar fasciitis inflammation, once it occurs, can persist for months, even with conventional treatments and reasonable attempts to manage plantar stress (as listed above). Under most treatment protocols, relief from plantar fasciitis pain has been difficult to achieve. Because feet are continuously in use, re-injury is a very strong possibility unless the patient is immobilized. The reality is that most conventional treatments fail to create the right conditions for a satisfactory recovery.

By providing continuous support to the injured fascia, FasciaDerm’s patented system brings fast heel pain relief, a significant reduction in daily fascia stress and all-day comfort – without requiring bed rest or immobilization.

So, to summarize our introduction to Plantar Fasciitis:

  1. Symptoms – Sharp pain, usually in the heel, and most severe in the morning or after periods of rest. Plantar fasciitis most commonly occurs in a single foot.
  2. Causes – Repetitive or excess stress on the plantar fascia, influenced by age, activity level, flexibility and footwear choices.
  3. Prevention – The risk of developing plantar fasciitis can be minimized by managing weight, avoiding sudden changes in activity levels, maintaining flexibility and wearing supportive foot wear.

Next: Treatments for Plantar Fasciitis

Video – FOX Morning News Appearance

If you missed it, here’s a video excerpt from our live segment on FOX Morning News, regarding FasciaDerm’s invention and unique characteristics. The feature also profiled other entrepreneurs who have worked with the Houston Inventors Association to bring products to market.

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