PLANTAR FASCIITIS

Plantar Fasciitis

 

Plantar fasciitis is a condition causing heel pain. Supporting the arch, the plantar fascia, a thick band of tissue connecting the heel to the ball of the foot, can become inflamed or can tear. You experience pain when you put weight on your foot—particularly when taking your first steps in the morning. The pain can be felt at the heel, or along the arch and the ball of the foot.

Plantar fasciitis is a common foot condition. It occurs in as many as 2 million Americans per year and 10% of the population over their lifetimes.

Factors that contribute to the development of plantar fasciitis include:

  • Age (over 40 years)
  • A job, sport, or hobby that involves prolonged standing or other weight-bearing activity
  • Rapid increases in length or levels of activity, such as beginning a new running program or changing to a job that requires a lot more standing or walking than you are accustomed to
  • Decreased calf muscle flexibility
  • Increased body weight (Body Mass Index greater than 30)
  • Tendency to have a flat foot (pronation)

Plantar fasciitis affects people of all ages, both athletes and non-athletes. Men and women have an equal chance of developing the condition. Treatment generally reduces pain and restores your ability to put weight on your foot again.

 

What is Plantar Fasciitis?

Plantar fasciitis is a condition causing heel pain. Supporting the arch, the plantar fascia, a thick band of tissue connecting the heel to the ball of the foot, can become inflamed or can tear. The condition develops when repeated weight-bearing activities put a strain on the plantar fascia. People who are diagnosed with plantar fasciitis also may have heel spurs, a bony growth that forms on the heel bone. However, people with heel spurs may not experience pain.

Plantar fasciitis occurs most frequently in people in their 40s but can occur in all age groups.

The condition can develop in athletes who run a great deal and in non-athletes who are on their feet most of the day, such as police officers, cashiers, or restaurant workers.

 

Signs and Symptoms

The onset of symptoms of plantar fasciitis frequently occurs with a sudden increase in activity. You might feel a stabbing pain on the underside of your heel, and a sensation of tightness and/or tenderness along your arch.

People with plantar fasciitis may experience pain:

    • In the morning, when stepping out of bed and taking the first steps of the day
    • With prolonged standing
    • When standing up after sitting for awhile
    • After an intense weight-bearing activity such as running
    • When climbing stairs
    • When walking barefoot or in shoes with poor support

 

As your body warms up, your pain may actually decrease during the day but then worsen again toward the end of the day because of extended walking. Severe symptoms may cause you to limp.

 

How Is It Diagnosed?

 

The physical therapist’s diagnosis is based on your health and activity history and a clinical evaluation. Your therapist also will take a medical history to make sure that you do not have other possible conditions that may be causing the pain. Sharing information about the relationship of your symptoms to your work and recreation, and reporting any lifestyle changes, will help the physical therapist diagnose your condition and tailor a treatment program for your specific needs.

To diagnose plantar fasciitis, your therapist may conduct the following physical tests to see if symptoms occur:

        • Massaging and pressing on the heel area (palpation)
        • Gently stretching the ankle to bend the top of the foot toward the leg (dorsiflexion)
        • Gently pressing the toes toward the ankle

 

How Can a Physical Therapist Help?

 

Physical therapists are trained to evaluate and treat plantar fasciitis.

When you are diagnosed with plantar fasciitis, your physical therapist will work with you to develop a program to decrease your symptoms that may include:

        • Stretching exercises to improve the flexibility of your ankle and the plantar fascia
        • Use of a night splint to maintain correct ankle and toe positions
        • Selection of supportive footwear and/or shoe inserts that minimize foot pronation and reduce stress to the plantar fascia
        • Application of ice to decrease pain and inflammation
        • Iontophoresis (a gentle way to deliver medication through the skin)
        • Taping of the foot to provide short-term relief

Research shows that most cases of plantar fasciitis improve over time with these conservative treatments, and surgery is rarely required.

 

Can this Injury or Condition be Prevented?

 

Guidelines for the prevention or management of plantar fasciitis include:

        • Choosing shoes with good arch support
        • Replacing your shoes regularly, so that they offer arch support and provide shock absorption to your feet
        • Using a thick mat if you must stand in one place for much of the day
        • Applying good principles to your exercise program, such as including a warm-up and gradually building up the intensity and duration of your exercises to avoid straining the plantar fascia
        • Stretching your calves and feet before and after running or walking
        • Maintaining a healthy body weight

If you feel you may have the symptoms of plantar fasciitis, feel free to set up a detailed evaluation with one of our trained therapists.

We would love to hear from you!

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  • I definitely recommend Dynamic Bracing & Physical Therapy. They are well organized and efficient in all areas including insurance processing and therapy.
    My Physical Therapist, Jesse Dunne, did a great job of explaining what my problem was with my back. She gave me exercises to do at home and did her “magic” to make my back pain free.
    She also put on classes for runners to help with our form, strength and agility. Jesse really knows her stuff. I guess that’s why she has a Doctor of Physical Therapy after her name.

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    Jim Hoppe
    5/08/2019

    If in fact you have a fall, accident or other problem
    THIS IS THE PLACE TO GET HELP. I found Andrea Baker, Arch & Jesse to be excellent in their work & the ultimate professionals at all times. Strain and counterstrain technique was new to me. This treatment was very effective, they also gave me physical therapy exercises to do at home which helped the process of recovery. I would highly recommend this office for Physical Therapy. The environment was bright and cheerful & clean. Everyone made working on recovery a real good experience. Thank you for your help.

    Rae Baker Avatar
    Rae Baker
    5/27/2019

    Andrea and Arch are great to work with. They took the time to fully evaluate me and developed a course of therapy to achieve specific goals. So happy I chose them!

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    Rob Brewer
    6/28/2013
  • I can't believe how much relief I get from going to Andrea and Jessie. I have been going to them for 5 years off and on. I go in for about 6 sessions about every 6 months for counter strain. They help reduce my pain and lymphedema due to breat cancer and radiation. Nothing else works. Not even at home stuff. I can enjoy doing things again just from the treatments. I reccomend them to every one. It is AMAZING!!!!

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    Bobbi-Jo Thomas
    8/28/2019

    Before I met Andrea, I was receiving counterstrain therapy at a different location. When that therapist retired, she recommended me to Andrea, and I haven't looked back! Nobody else has been able to so effectively treat my wide range of issues (everything from hypermobility to severe neck issues caused by a car crash) with such a friendly caring attitude! You can tell she truly cares about the health and well-being of all of her patients, and I highly recommend her to anybody seeking physical therapy or even pain relief from any issue. You won't regret it!

    I have been going to her for over five years now. Her style is to use strain and counterstrain techniques combined with strengthening exercises to best stabilize and strengthen your body. She listens to each of your concerns and can treat both the entire body and/or just a specific area. It is fascinating to feel the instantaneous relief as she works on me, and I always walk out the door feeling 10 times better than I walked in.

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    Shannon H
    10/04/2019

    Love love love this place! Jessi is the therapist that I see and she is super sweet and very professional. Jessi explains what she is doing and how it will help. Darcy at the front desk is always cheerful and very helpful with scheduling and billing. If you are looking for a physical therapy office you should definitely call dynamic physical therapy and bracing!

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    Wendi Soulia
    5/03/2019