Plantar Fasciitis

What Is Plantar Fasciitis?

A painful condition occurring in the plantar fascia, aka the connective tissue at the bottom of the foot. The plantar fascia acts to create stability and support in the foot and absorbs forces. Plantar fasciitis causes pain at the bottom of the foot or near the heel with weight-bearing and walking, especially after periods of inactivity. It may or may not present with inflammation.

 

What Are The Causes Of Plantar Fasciosis?

The plantar fascia becomes irritated due to overuse, flat feet, high arched feet, this causes the area to become painful and often times inflamed. It then fails to create the appropriate stability as the foot goes the motions of taking a step.

 

What Are The Signs And Symptoms Of Plantar Fasciitis?

Pain at the bottom of the foot or heel, often times worse with the first steps in the morning or when standing/walking after having sat for a prolonged period of time. It is often worse when barefoot.

 

What Are The Risk Factors Of Plantar Fasciitis?

Overuse, flat feet, high arched feet, limited ankle range of motion, improper footwear, increasing activity without proper ramp up, poor body mechanics, foot/ankle instability, rigid foot/ankle joints, high BMI, occupations requiring many hours standing/walking.

 

How Is Plantar Heel Pain Diagnosed?

It may be diagnosed by a PT when a patient presents with signs and symptoms of plantar fasciitis. This is further confirmed by the patient’s response to special tests administered by the PT.

 

What Are The Possible Treatments For Plantar Fasciitis?

Manual therapy including soft tissue mobilization and massage to the calf musculature and intrinsic foot musculature, joint mobilization to improve big toe, midfoot and ankle joint motion, manual stretching. Strengthening of lower leg stabilizers, eccentric calf training, balance and stability training, neuromuscular re-education, intrinsic toe/foot strengthening. Plyometrics and return to sport training as needed. Custom orthotics and night splints may also be prescribed.

 

Are There Preventative Steps Or Measures To Avoid Plantar Fasciosis?

Maintaining healthy flexibility throughout the ankles and feet, make good footwear choices, when participating in running or sports, gradually increase participation over the course of a few weeks.

 

What Are The Risks If Plantar Fasciitis Is Left Untreated?

It not rehabilitated properly it may lead to plantar fasciotomy, a surgical release of the plantar fascia.

 

Are There Other Related Conditions To Plantar Heel Pain?

Metatarsalgia, foot arthritis, Achilles tendinopathy, posterior tibial tendonitis, plantar fat pad atrophy, neuroma

 

Key Takeaways About Plantar Fasciitis

-Manual therapy is essential in plantar fascia rehabilitation. In order for the plantar fascia mechanism to work correctly, the joints of the foot must be able to move properly from the toe joints through the forefoot, midfoot, and hindfoot. Joint mobilization administered by a PT is integral to correcting poor joint mobility.
-When increasing activity for running or other sports, do so gradually over the course of a few weeks.
-Maintaining good ankle, foot, and toe flexibility help prevent plantar fasciitis.

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