What is it?
Plantar fasciitis is pain and inflammation of the thick band of tissue (plantar fascia) that runs along the bottom of the foot connecting the heel to the toes. It is one of the most common causes of heel and foot pain.
The plantar fascia normally acts like a shock absorber, supporting the arch of the foot. If tension in the area becomes too great, small micro-tears can develop. Repetitive stretching and micro-tearing can cause the fascia to be irritated and inflamed.
Plantar fasciitis can cause a stabbing pain at the bottom of the foot that is usually worse with the first few steps after getting out of bed in the morning. The pain can also be brought on with long periods of standing and getting up after being seated for a length of time.
Who is most at risk?
- those over the age of 40
- those participating in activities that put a lot of stress on the heel and its attached tissue i.e.: runners, dancers, etc.
- those with poor foot mechanics i.e.: flat footed, high arch, abnormal walking pattern
- those overweight
- those with occupations that keep them on their feet a lot especially on a hard surface i.e.: cement floors
What happens if you don’t treat it?
You run the risk of developing chronic heel pain that will limit your activities. You may end up changing the way to walk or move in an attempt to minimize your pain which may lead to development of foot, knee, hip or back problems.
What can you do about it?
- See a STRIDE physical therapist! We’ll do a comprehensive assessment to come to the proper diagnosis and rule out any other issue. Treatment will likely involve some manual therapy (hands on work of mobilizing joints and releasing the muscle and fascia) and give you home exercises to stretch and strengthen the region. We may also use modalities (IFC, ultrasound, acupuncture, etc.) for pain and inflammation or even taping techniques to support your foot. Sometimes the use of night splints or orthotics may be needed.
Other tips to help you out:
- do your best to maintain a healthy body weight
- choose good, supportive shoes and replace them every 800km of use
- address any issues sooner rather than later for the best outcomes!
- for other clinical tidbits, check out this link: plantar fasciitis
Think you might have plantar fasciitis? Call us at 306.778.7770 or book online (click the green “Book Online” button on our website’s main page) to get started on your recovery today!