Plantar fasciitis is a painful inflammatory process of the plantar fascia. Cases of plantar fasciitis that are longstanding demonstrate more degenerative changes than inflammatory changes and are termed plantar fasciosis. Plantar fasciitis is often spelled incorrectly and can be found referenced as plantar fascitis, plantar fasciatis, plantar fasciaitis, and planters fasciitis.
The plantar fascia is a thick, fibrous band of connective tissue originating on the bottom surface of the heel bone and extending along the sole of the foot toward the toes — the exact area that Icy Feet is designed to target. As many as 40 million Americans suffer from this condition, which is typically experienced by people who on on their feet regularly.
Sometimes ball-of-foot pain is mistakenly assumed to be derived from plantar fasciitis. A dull pain or numbness in the metatarsal region of the foot could instead be metatarsalgia, also called capsulitis. Some current studies suggest that plantar fasciitis is not actually inflamed plantar fascia, but merely an inflamed flexor digitorum brevis muscle belly.
Typically, plantar fasciitis is associated with long periods of weight bearing. Among non-athletic types, it is often associated with a high body mass index. Icing and rest are among the first treatments and continued therapies that should be considered for addressing plantar fasciitis.
Icing the feet, or cold therapy, is just one of the many treatment options for plantar fasciitis, which also includes rest, massage therapy, stretching, weight loss, night splints, motion control running shoes, physical therapy, heat therapy, custom orthotics, anti-inflammatory medications, injection of corticosteroids, and surgery in refractory cases.