> Common Muscle Problems > Plantar Fasciitis & Lower Legs
Plantar Fasciitis is the inflammation of the connective tissue covering the muscles in the sole of the foot.

This is caused by a variety of factors but is usually associated with an increased level of exercise such as starting a running program in the spring after less activity throughout the winter, or wearing shoes that don't provide adequate support to the arches of the feet. It is felt as a tight, stiff and painful area on the sole of the foot, usually on the bottom of the heel. It is especially common to notice it as a painful poke to the heel first thing in the morning on arising from bed. It is often noted as feeling like stepping on a small sharp stone.

Another factor in Plantar Fasciitis is excessively tight calf muscles. The calf muscles attach to the Achilles Tendon which is connected to the fascia and muscles on the sole of the foot via wrapping around the heel. Having excessively tight calf muscles can contribute to Plantar Fasciitis by exerting excessive force on the fascia and causing small tears in the connective tissue which leads to inflammation and pain.

Over time, chronic Plantar Fasciitis can lead to the formation of heel bone spurs. These bone spurs are very evident in simple x-rays and can result in extra pain and suffering. Prevention of bone spurs via aggressive treatment of Plantar Fasciitis is the best protocol.

Treatment

Regular massage of both the sole and heel of the foot, the achilles tendon and the calf muscles are the best way to treat and prevent Plantar Fasciitis. Placing the Muscle Glide roller on a table to raise it above the level of your hips allows you to easily roll your calf muscles on top of the roller. Usually the weight of your leg is sufficient, if you need additional pressure just place your other leg on top for added weight. To treat the sole of the foot place the roller on the floor and roll the sole of your foot over it while sitting down, or standing if you need additional pressure, focusing extra attention to the heel.