What is Plantar Fasciitis and How Do I Treat It?

Are you feeling pain in your heel? Are the bottoms of one or both of your feet inflamed? There is a chance you may have plantar fasciitis, a condition that can cause a sharp, stabbing pain and inflammation in your feet, usually occurring in the morning or after long periods of standing. This common condition can be treated with physical therapy, exercises, and resting techniques.

Causes of Plantar Fasciitis

Plantar Fasciitis is a common cause of arch and heel pain. This condition is caused by the inflammation of the thick bowstring of tissue, called the plantar fascia, which runs across the bottom of your foot to connect your heel bone to your toes. This tissue acts as a shock absorber, however when tension and stress is placed on this bowstring small tears arise. Repeated stress and tearing can cause the fascia to become inflamed. This condition is prevalent in occupations or activities that keep you on your feet, such as teachers, factory workers and healthcare professionals. In addition, tight shoes, abnormal walking patterns, and tightness in the calves, can lead to plantar fasciitis.

It is important to see a physician at first signs of heel or ball of foot pain to diagnose this condition, since plantar fasciitis may evolve into chronic foot pain that can hinder your ability to walk and move. If not treated early, the pain can even lead to knee, hip, or back problems due to your impaired walking mobility.

Lifestyle Remedies for Plantar Fasciitis

Do not worry about putting your life on hold because of this condition – there are many noninvasive treatments for plantar fasciitis. Massaging your calves and the bottoms of your feet with your thumbs, a golf ball or a frozen water bottle can help break up adhesions and reduce inflammation decreasing the intensity of the pain in your foot. Performing these massages at least twice a day, in the morning and evening will aide in preventing the debilitatingly painful flair ups. Another nonsurgical way you can treat plantar fasciitis is with orthotics, commonly known as custom foot supports. Orthotics are designed and specially fitted for your feet to help distribute the pressure between your feet. With less pressure on the bottoms of your feet, your plantar fascia can recover in peace.

The Importance of Physical Therapy

Physical therapy is an integral part of treating plantar fasciitis. A physical therapist will teach you how to properly stretch reducing the stress on your plantar fascia and Achilles tendons. Our clinicians will also teach you exercises and proper walking techniques to help stabilize your walk and lessen the pressure on your feet. For those walking or running, a physical therapist may also perform a gait analysis to identify any bad habits or running form deficiencies that may be causing the added stress on the bottoms of your feet.

Treat Plantar Fasciitis at IMPACT

Plantar fasciitis is a painful condition that can only be improved with proper treatment. At IMPACT Physical Therapy, we have a team of highly qualified and dedicated clinicians that will decide on what the best treatment plan is for you. In addition to treating foot pain, we also offer an extensive array of specialty physical therapy, recovery, and fitness services to suit your lifestyle. Contact us today at one of our six locations to learn more about how IMPACT can help you!