What is Plantar Fasciitis?
Plantar fasciitis is a common foot pathology that affects over 2 million Americans per year and about 10% of the general population throughout a lifetime. Plantar fasciitis is inflammation of the plantar fascia on the bottom of the foot. The plantar fascia is the dense connective tissue that attaches from our heels to our toes and provides support to the arch of our foot. Plantar fasciitis can develop after repetitive stressing or tearing of the fascia, but sometimes it can occur spontaneously. People with plantar fasciitis may be experiencing pain/discomfort in their heels, especially while in standing. People may experience their symptoms more in the morning after waking up and then standing or after prolonged periods of sitting.
Are your plantar fascia prone to developing Plantar Fasciitis?
Some people may be more prone to developing plantar fasciitis due to certain characteristics or activities. Specific attributes that increase the likelihood of developing plantar fasciitis include decreased dorsiflexion range of motion in the ankle, pes cavus arch height, hindfoot varus, and obesity. Certain activities also increase the likelihood of developing plantar fasciitis include prolonged standing or walking, especially on hard surfaces, running and jumping.
What can Physical Therapy do to help?
When it comes to treating plantar fasciitis, physical therapy helps improve pain and the symptoms associated with plantar fasciitis. Physical therapists can utilize various manual techniques to help improve ankle mobility and decrease pain. Dry needling is a useful tool to help improve the pain associated with plantar fasciitis if the pain is due to trigger points within specific muscles. A physical therapist will be able to determine if someone would benefit from orthotics depending on the structure of their feet. People with excessively flat feet or high arches would benefit from extra support within their aches to decrease the load on the plantar fascia. Physical therapists will prescribe appropriate strengthening exercises and stretches as well if specific muscles need strengthening or joints need improved mobility.
If you are experiencing signs and symptoms associated with plantar fasciitis, come into Freedom Physical Therapy to receive a thorough evaluation and receive treatment to allow you to live your life pain-free!