Plantar fasciitis is characterised by acute inflammation of the plantar fascia of
the foot, usually caused by repetitive microtrauma, in which the thick connective
tissue located in the sole of the foot at its insertion into the calcaneus becomes
inflamed. Factors such as inappropriate footwear, mechanical exertion in incorrect
postures and repetitive movements can cause or aggravate it.
It is often associated with the presence of a heel spur, brought on by a periosteal
reaction, because of the increase in the traction of the medial musculature of the
Pain that is usually felt in the anterior-medial base of the heel, becoming more
acute when the patient gets up in the morning due to nighttime stiffness, but
decreasing during the day with moderate activities. This pain, however, increases
with mechanical exertion, which requires greater overloading.
Treatment is usually a combination of rehabilitation techniques, corticosteroids
and the use of plantar orthoses with appropriate footwear.
Plantar orthoses facilitate the distribution of loads by providing selective distribution
of plantar loads and forces, thereby enabling the plantar fascia to relax and
reducing medial plantar tension. In acute cases, the use of postural orthoses at
night to keep the foot at a neutral 90° angle can provide the relaxation needed
to prevent the appearance of stiffness.