Everything you need to know about overcoming plantar fasciitis.
The weather is finally starting to cool down and you want to enjoy the crisp air, but have been experiencing a pain in your heel and bottom of your foot. You’re not alone. This symptom is often caused by plantar fasciitis.
The fascia is a thick band of tissue that attaches from your heel to your toes. This area can become overly stressed or stretched causing micro-tears, pain, and inflammation. Bone spurs can also form and be present at the heel area which can further tissue aggravation.
Possible causes of Plantar Fasciitis are:
- Wearing worn out shoes, no shoes, or shoes with very flat thin hard sole during standing for long periods, walking, or other vigorous weight-bearing activities.
- Having flat feet or a very high arch can predispose towards this condition.
- Abnormal gait or foot positioning during activities such as walking or running.
- Tightness at Achilles tendon.
Plantar fasciitis can include pain at the heel or bottom of the foot, especially when walking long distances or the “first step” of the morning/ standing after sitting for a long period. Plantar fasciitis can progress to the point where even short periods of walking are painful.
How can we treat this with Physical therapy?
- Exercises for strengthening the arch and smaller muscles surrounding the toes.
- Ankle strengthening to avoid abnormal mechanics during gait, standing or running.
- Stretches for calf and bottom of the foot to decrease tension to the Achilles area, plantar fasciae.
- Some modalities for pain relief and or increasing blood flow such as Ultrasound or electrical stimulation.
- Manual therapy including manual stretching of ankle/foot or techniques for reducing tissue texture or knots, ASTYM therapy.
- Kinesiology tape may be applied in some cases to help decompress the plantar fascia and provide support to the arch/ inhibit tightness in calf musculature that increases tension on Achilles tendon.
What can I do for myself?
- In some cases, arch supports for shoes may be necessary, also avoiding wearing worn out or hard flat shoes with little to no arch support.
- Find shoes that provide good support for the arch and ankle, promoting good ankle and foot alignment during stance, ambulation and running.
- With education from a physical therapist, you can learn to tape the foot and ankle so that you can walk longer distances or do an activity without pain.
- Follow your home exercise program assigned by your physical therapists, and stretch daily.
- Rolling pin or a frozen water bottle along the bottom of foot and heel.
- Wearing night splint to hold foot and ankle in a neutral position rather than toe pointed down.
If you’ve been experiencing symptoms of plantar fasciitis, call us today! 866-412-5554
Content provided by Lauren Cahn, CPTA.