Have you ever woke up feeling good, fully rested, but as soon as you place your foot down to step on the floor, you have a aching or stabbing pain in the bottom of your foot? You know you didn’t injure it, but then as the mornings go by, it seems to happen every morning. This condition is called plantar fasciitis. It affects 1 out of 10 people in their lifetime. A person is more likely to get it if they are a woman, overweight or has a job that requires a lot of walking or standing on hard surfaces. It can be seen quite often in walkers and runners, especially if they have tight calf muscles.
Plantar fasciitis is a condition that occurs when the long fibrous plantar fascia ligament that travels along the bottom of the foot develops tears in the tissue. This results in pain and inflammation. People usually complain of pain close to where the fascia attaches to the calcaneous or heel bone. They also may describe it as a burning, stabbing or aching pain in the bottom or heel of the foot. Most people feel that it is worse in the mornings. This is due to the ligaments tightening up in the middle of the night. Once they climb out of bed and place pressure on the ligament, it becomes taut and painful. The pain usually decreases as the tissue warms up.
There are many treatment options available, such as NSAIDs and orthotics. Physical therapy is a great alternative due to the fact that it not only has shown to reduce pain significantly, but also helps the pain from recurring.
At Advanced Physical Therapy Center, we teach proper body mechanics to help improve gait and teach the patient exercises that stretch the surrounding muscle tissue. We offer laser light therapy and cold therapy to reduce inflammation. Massage is another piece of the therapy component that helps to relieve tension in the plantar fascia. We use the Graston Technique to break up adhesions and release restrictions. Lastly, we will tape the foot to allow the foot to rest and increase healing.
About 90 percent of people with plantar fasciitis improve significantly after two months of the initial treatment of physical therapy. We treat plantar fasciitis at all our locations. To schedule an appointment or free consultation to see if we can help you, give us a call. Click here to see all our locations.
Exercises for Plantar Fasciitis Patients
- In a sitting position and keeping the leg steady, pull the foot toward you so that the bottom of the foot is stretched
- Hold this for 30 to 60 seconds and release, repeat five times
- Do this exercise three times per day, especially in the morning before first step
- Place hands on a wall for support
- Stand with one leg in front of the other, feet pointed forward and your back straight
- Bend knees, drop your buttocks toward floor
- Gently lean into the wall until you feel the stretch in your lower calf
- Hold and repeat several times