A doctoral student in the kinesiology department at the University of Massachusetts Amherst has begun an in-depth study of a foot disorder that affects more than 2 million Americans. Ryan Chang’s research on the biomechanics of foot muscles and connective tissue will help scientists to understand the mechanisms that cause chronic heel pain and may lead to more specialized treatment of the disorder.
Chang’s preliminary results give the first experimental evidence to confirm the theory behind the disorder plantar fasciitis, or chronic heel pain. People with the disorder have more flexible arches than those that do not, and the from and back portions of affected feet often move out of sync.
Chronic heel pain most often affects people whose jobs require them to work on their feet, such as service workers, hospital workers, flight attendants, postal workers and construction workers.
Many people affected by the disorder describe the symptoms as a sharp, knife-like pain in their heel. The disorder gets its name from the portion of the foot that it is believed to affect: the plantar fascia, which is a strip of connective tissue that attaches to the bottom of the heel and runs along the arch of the foot, fanning out to attach to all five toes. Clinicians have traditional associated the painful symptoms with over-stretching and inflammation of the connective tissue, but this correlation has never been proven.
If you are suffering from a chronic heel pain? The podiatrists’ at North Eastern Ohio Podiatry Group, LLC can help provide the best treatment options for your condition.