The plantar fascia is a connective tissue band which extends from the heel bone to the ball of the foot. The plantar fascia is designed to support a tremendous amount of weight. As the heel lifts off the ground when walking, the plantar fascia tightens, like a dynamic rope under tension. This increases the rigidity of the foot and improves efficiency as the calf muscles contract and propel the body forward. The plantar fascia is composed of highly organized, dense networks of collagen fibers. Collagen is essentially woven together (or coiled) in strands, and then organized into bundles. This arrangement is what increases the strength of the plantar fascia. When this network is disrupted, there is a structural failure and the plantar fascia loses it’s strength. The disruption is usually a result of repetitive stress and traumatic injury on a microscopic level. The condition which results is called plantar fasciitis.
More information on plantar fasciitis.
View our five part series on plantar fasciitis, plantar fasciosis and plantar fascia structure.
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