Heel pain is the most common foot problem in the United States, and plantar fasciitis is the most common cause of a painful heel. Many people who suffer from the condition never find a way to get complete relief from the painful problem, and there's a good reason why--up until recently, most doctors have been treating plantar fasciitis the wrong way.
The Old School Plantar Fasciitis Treatment
Plantar fasciitis was once thought to be an inflammatory condition that affects a band of tissue called the plantar fascia that is responsible for connecting your heel bone to your toes. Doctors used to think that the heel pain associated with the condition developed because that tissue became swollen. As a result, conventional treatments for plantar fasciitis focus on alleviating inflammation with treatments like steroid shots and shock wave therapy.
An Amazing Discovery
If it hadn't been for the work of Philadelphia dermatopathologist and podiatrist Dr. Harvey Lemont, we might have gone on treating plantar fasciitis the wrong way for years. Baffled by the fact that many of his patients weren't responding to treatments, Dr. Lemont decided to do exploratory surgery to examine their plantar fascia ligaments. When he got the samples under a microscope, he realized that the tissue wasn't inflamed at all--in these very severe cases, it was dying.
What We Know Now
Based on Dr. Lemont's remarkable discovery, the real cause of plantar fasciitis is now understood. Along the inside of the foot is a muscle called the abductor hallucis that is used to move the big toe. Scientists have long known that modern shoes cause the shape of the foot to change. What they didn't realize was the detrimental effect that these changes have on blood supply to the feet.
As the big toe moves closer to the other toes because of shoes, the abductor hallucis is pushed in and ends up pressing against the plantar fascia. Over time, the muscle gradually deprives the tissue of oxygen and nutrient-rich blood. It’s the strangulation of the tissue that results in the heel pain associated with plantar fascia, not chronic inflammation.
The Better Way to Treat Plantar Fasciitis
Now that we know exactly why plantar fasciitis pain actually occurs, it's clear that conventional interventions like steroid shots that limit inflammation will never succeed at fully eliminating heel pain. Instead, treatment needs to focus on promoting proper alignment of the toes, opening up the foot to ease the pressure on the plantar fascia that is caused by the abductor hallucis and prevent the strangulation in the first place.
Doing toe stretches and wearing shoes that do not crowd the toes can help to over time to correct and re-position the toes and the abductor hallucis muscle. The Original Foot Alignment Socks can also help, as these comfortable accessories stretch and separate the toes after hours which will keep them in a more proper alignment throughout the day.
While not all cases of plantar fasciitis can be cured by realigning your toes, many people feel significantly better with the use of foot alignment socks. If you are not finding relief, or the pain is getting worse, you will want to consult a doctor to see if there are other causes of your foot pain.
To learn more about The Original Foot Alignment Socks and purchase a pair click here.