Plantar fasciitis is a common foot condition that results in heel pain. And if you’ve got it, you’re not alone! It affects 10% of the population. But more importantly, there’s so much we can do with Physical Therapy to get you feeling better!
So what’s causing those symptoms?
The term, plantar fasciitis, simply means inflammation of your plantar fascia. The plantar fascia consists of bands of strong connective tissue that provide support to the bottom of your foot, from your heel to the ball of your foot. The inflammation typically develops from repetitive activities (like standing, walking, or running) that put a strain on this area over time. Factors that increase the risk of developing plantar fasciitis include unsupportive foot wear, foot alignment abnormalities (such as a flat or pronated foot), weakness and/or tightness that creates imbalance in the foot, a rapid increase in activity level, being over 40 years of age, increased body weight, and prolonged standing. Typically the heel pain is worse upon first walking in the morning or after sitting. This pain usually eases initially with continued movement because this loosens the tissue, but then increases with ongoing repetitive movement because eventually this creates irritation and inflammation.
So how do we make this better?
When fascia is healthy, it is elastic and pliable, but when an area becomes inflamed, the fascia often gets bound down and restricted. That’s why receiving manual therapy, like myofascial release (MFR), is so important for effective healing. It restores the normal, healthy elasticity and movement of the tissues. While the symptoms of plantar fasciitis are usually isolated to the arch of the foot and heel, the cause of the strain may actually be located much further up the movement chain (such as at your knee, hip, or pelvis). Besides manual therapy, such as MFR, treatment often includes stretching, strengthening, and balance exercises along with cold application to reduce the pain and inflammation. Strengthening the muscles of your feet, legs, hips and core take strain off of your plantar fascia so this irritation doesn’t come back. Orthotics and/or better footwear are also often needed.
In short… we can do SO MUCH to get that pain to go away AND STAY AWAY! And everything we do is NATURAL and LONG LASTING - HOORAY! :)
If you are suffering from heel pain, the Expert Physical Therapists at Balance Within Integrative Physical Therapy are here to help.
And to get started with your healing journey, why not sign up for one of our FREE DISCOVERY CONSULTS TODAY?