The term Plantar Fasciitis like many medical terms can be broken down into its constituent elements to derive the actual meaning.
Plantar means the bottom surface, Fascia is a type of tissue, and Itis translates into...... a condition of. So by its very nature, this is the most common condition that people enter my office complaining of, and, the most vague diagnosis. If your feet hurt, more than likely you have been told you have Plantar Fasciitis. I often think this simply means, the Doctor simply doesn't want to look any further into the etiology (Cause) of the condition.
Etiology, another fun fact, according to more than a few sources, the etiology of Plantar Fasciitis is unknown. Allow me to provide a little background.
There is a term called the Windlass effect, this is when the ligaments at the bottom of the big to pull upon the calcaneus, the bone that makes up the heel of the foot. When this tension is applied, the heel approximates the forefoot effectively shortening the length of the foot. When this fails to happen, you have improper joint mechanics which causes a stretching of the plantar fascia. Most often it is caused by the arch of the foot being locked up with scar tissue and manipulation of the arch, followed by proper support of the foot with an orthotic can correct this imbalance and restore pain free function.
I'm a little nervous about the idea of having you manipulate my feet, will orthotics help me if I don't have you manipulate the joints of my foot ? The answer is there is a VERY high probability it will. Will your orthotics perform far better for you if we make them for a mechanically correct foot as opposed to a mechanically pathological foot, yes they will clearly work better.