Plantar Fasciitis

Plantar Fasciitis

What is Plantar Fasciitis?

1. Are you suffering from Plantar Fasciitis?
Plantar fasciitis is a common overuse injury of the foot. It is characterized by heel pain in the morning or after rest. The plantar fascia is a thick non-elastic band of fibrous tissue that runs from the metatarsal heads to the calcaneus (heel bone). It maintains the medical long arch in the foot.

When stress is applied to the plantar surface (bottom of the foot), the fascia goes through a process of microtearing. A microtear can occur at the heal or toes as well. If you cannot rest the foot, the foot pain becomes more severe due to the increased microtearing. The problem progresses quickly, thus treatment should commence as soon as possible. As the plantar fascia continues to tear and the fascia is pulled away from the bone, the body responds by filling in the space with new bone. This causes the classic heel spur. The heel spur is not the problem, but can be a result of the problem.

2. What are the symptoms of Plantar Fasciitis?
  1. Common symptoms include heel pain, under the heel and usually on the inside, at the origin of the attachment of the fascia.
  2. Pain when pressing on the inside of the heel and sometimes along the arch.
  3. Pain is usually worse first thing in the morning as the fascia tightens up overnight. After a few minutes it eases as the foot gets warmed up.
  4. As the condition becomes more severe the pain can get worse throughout the day if activity continues.
  5. Stretching the plantar fascia may be painful.
  6. Sometimes there may also be pain along the outside border of the heel. This may occur due to the offloading the painful side of the heel by walking on the outside border of the foot. It may also be associated with the high impact of landing on the outside of the heel if you have high arched feet.

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3. What are presdiposing factors of Plantar Fasciitis?
Predisposing factors include:

  1. Flat Feet (No arch in the foot)
  2. Pronation of the feet (Rolling inward at the ankle)
  3. High arched rigid feet
  4. Inappropriate and/or improper footwear
  5. Old footwear
  6. Overuse of the feet

What prevention and/or treatment are available for Plantar Fasciitis?
Rest: One of the easier and first methods to treating plantar fasciitis is rest. You carry your entire body above your feet. Your feet need a rest! Long walks can be replaced by cycling or swimming. Furthermore, if you are overweight, losing weight can reduce stress on your feet.

Shoes: Shoes that provide substantial support and cushioning are essential for recovery. Make sure your shoes fit well and are comfortable. Avoid high heel shoes.

Custom Orthotics: Orthotics are custom foot devices that serve to provide your feet with support and realign your feet to avoid any abnormalities (flat feet or fallen arches).
Laser Therapy

What conservative treatments are available for Plantar Fasciitis?

Several treatment options can help relieve tension in the tissues of your foot. These methods include: shockwave therapy, soft tissue therapy, plantar fasciitis night splints, laser therapy, ultrasound therapy, interferential current, cold therapy, graston technique, heel pads, taping of the foot, exercises and custom made orthotics.

What exercises help to relieve Plantar Fasciitis?

There are four exercises that help those suffering from plantar fasciitis:
Tennis Ball Roll – Using a tennis ball or golf ball, roll your foot back and forth over your arch and heel area for 2 minutes. You can also use a cold can of pop.
Towel Curls – PLace a towel on the floor and curl the towel towards you using only the injured foot/toes.
Shin Curls – Run your foot slowly up and down the shin of your other leg as you try to grab the shin with your toes. Repeat 30 seconds.
Toe Grabs – Stand with your feet together. Rotate your knees outward while attempting to grab the floor with your toes using the muscles of your foot. Hold 10 seconds, then relax. Report 20 times.

Fit for Life Wellness & Rehabilitation Centre is a health clinic located in Vaughan, Ontario, just north of Major Mackenzie on Weston Road (Located in the Vellore Medical Centre & Walk In Clinic). If you have questions in regards to plantar fasciitis, please email us and we will get right back to you promptly with information on your conditions/concerns.

What are my treatment options for Plantar Fasciitis?

Chiropractic Options Offered: Dr. Luciano Di Loreto (Chiropractor) and his team of health therapists can help you rehabilitate you from a plantar fasciitis injury via both active exercises as well as passive treatments. Our extensive passive treatments include laser therapy (healing), ultrasound (healing), electrotherapy (pain), hot/cold therapy and soft tissue therapy. Treatments are usually booked two to three times per week for six to eight weeks. Full recovery varies from individual to individual.

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