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  • Writer's pictureAndray Voronov

Could plantar fasciitis be a blood flow issue?

Updated: Feb 3, 2023

What is plantar fasciitis?

Plantar fasciitis (PF) is a common condition that is felt in the bottom of the foot. The main characteristic is something we call "first-step pain". First-step pain is felt when you take your first step in the morning or after sitting for a long time. It usually goes away once you start moving around. PF is thought to be caused by inflammation of the plantar fascia, a thick band of tissue that runs from the heel to the toes along the bottom of the foot. Although no one knows for sure, new research suggests that the plantar fascia dying off (called plantar fasciiosis) due to a lack of blood flow may be one of the causes.

Osis rather than itis?

One study, which was published in the Journal of Vascular Surgery, showed that people with PF had much less blood flow to their plantar fascia. Another study, which was published in the Journal of Orthopaedic Research, found that people with PF had more dying cells in their plantar fascia than people who didn't have it. This could be a sign that the plantar fascia is dying, which can cause pain and swelling.

Big toe position?

Recent studies have also found that the position of the big toe may restrict blood flow to the plantar fasciia. A study in the Journal of Foot and Ankle Surgery found that people with PF and hallux valgus, A.K.A. a bunion, had a lot less blood flow to their plantar fascia. Traditional shoes, like those with a narrow toe box or heels, can push the big toe into a position called "adduction," which can lead to bunions. Big toe adduction is when the toe gets pushed towards the other toes, rather than being straight.

A starting point for treatment

Keep in mind though that these results are still preliminary, and more research is needed. But orthotics (like Correct Toes) and shoes with a wider toe-box (like Vivobarefoot shoes) may help people with plantar fasciitis and hallux valgus improve blood flow and relieve some symptoms. This lets the toes spread naturally and helps the muscles in the arch of the foot get stronger.

If you're experiencing plantar fasciia pain feel free to visit out Narre Warren Osteopathy clinic located at 9/25-35 Cranbourne Rd Narre Warren 3805 Alternative you can contact me via or call on 0493 031 231

Dr Dray (Osteo)

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