PLANTAR FASCIITIS – RECOMMENDATIONS FOR NAGGING HEEL PAIN

close-up x-ray image of foot red pain

The plantar fascia is a strong connective tissue that originates onthe bottom of the foot at the heel bone and runs along the bottom of the foot inserting into the toes (metatarsal heads). It is one ofthe primary stabilizers of the arch of the foot and when you walk it acts like a spring or windlass to help propel the body forward.

Excessive strain or overload on the plantar fascia can result inplantar fasciitis which is defined as an inflammation of the fasciaon the bottom of the foot. Plantar fasciitis is the most common cause of heel pain; however, some researchers question whether itis a true inflammation or degeneration.

 

There are many documented causes of plantar fasciitis. Poorflexibility of the calf muscles, no arch support, a sudden increase in one’s level of activity, poor footwear, being overweight, excessive pronation, or repetitive stress conditions (long distance running) have all been reported to be possible causes of plantar fasciitis. Plantar fasciitis is often worst in the morning when one takes his/her first steps out of bed. Theories propose that when we are sleeping, the inflamed fascia is shortening and perhaps attempting
to heal. If the problem is chronic, a bone spur may be seen on x-ray.

 

TREATMENT GUIDELINES RECOMMENDED BY THE ORTHOPEDIC SECTION OF THE AMERICAN PHYSICAL THERAPY SECTION
Just as with other musculoskeletal conditions, there are a number of treatment options. The good news is that most recover from this condition with conservative treatment…treatment that is most commonly rendered by a physical therapist. In fact, a group of physical therapists consisting of clinicians, academics and researchers all compiled the best evidence available and created specific guidelines.

 

THE BEST EVIDENCE TREATMENT GUIDELINES
The following treatments are recommended that have some clinic research to support their use:
»Stretching
»Taping
»Foot orthoses
»Hands-on therapy
»Iontophoresis
»Night Splinting
In summary, if you experience plantar fasciitis, you can rest assured that physical therapy is one of the best choices for conservative care of this often debilitating condition. Do nothesitate to call us or refer a friend for a consultation. With physical therapy, the chances are the outcome will be a great one.

 

“Plantar fasciitis is the most common cause of heel pain”