Plantar Fasciitis is one of the most common conditions that occur to the foot and ankle complex, and is the most common cause of heel pain experienced by people. About 10% of people with experience heel pain at some point in their lives, and most likely it is plantar fasciitis. Plantar Fasciitis typically effects runners, athletes, people who work on their feet and are on their feet all day and overweight people. Plantar fasciitis is most commonly seen in adults from 40-60 years of age and with people who are flat footed (pes planus) or who have excessive arches (pes cavus). The good news is that a combination of PHYSICAL THERAPY and home treatments are extremely successful in treating this condition, allowing a person to resume all of their normal daily activities.
WHAT IS THE PLANTAR FASCIA AND WHAT CAUSES THE PAIN?
Your plantar fascia is in the shape of a bowstring, supporting the arch of your foot and absorbing shock when you walk. It runs from the heel bone (called the calcaneus) to the toes. It is thicker and more fibrous at the heel bone and thins out as you go more distally to the toes. Plantar fasciitis is due to stress and/or repetitive tears to the tissue causing inflammation and pain. Bones spurs (osteophytes) located at the heel are usually present and can be seen on x ray. This is one of the main causes of tears to the plantar fascia. Pain is generally felt at the heel of the affected foot. Most people experience increase pain in the morning when they wake up and initially weight bear in their affected foot, with mild easing of pain as the day progresses. Pain is most likely due to sleeping in a position that tightens the plantar fascia and calf muscles.
RISK FACTORS FOR PLANTAR FASCIITIS
● Tight Calf Muscles
● Very High Arch or Flat Feet
● Obesity- Causes excess stress to the foot region
● New or Increased physical activity
TREATMENT FOR PLANTAR FASCIITIS
The combination of physical therapy and home treatments can help to alleviate and
eliminate plantar fasciitis.
● Physical Therapy will use a variety of manual therapy techniques, exercises, and
modalities to address condition, such as massage, manual stretching, dry
needling, and taping to improve tissue mobility and flexibility. Exercises will also
be provided to the patient including flexibility/stretching to the calf and plantar
fascia, foot/ankle muscle strengthening to help decrease flat feet. Modalities
such as ice, electric stimulation, and ultrasound can be used to decrease
● Your physical therapist will also provide you with recommendations on home
treatments, such as using a frozen water bottle to roll out the plantar fascia,
home stretching exercises, as well as recommendations on proper shoes and
● Other home treatments may include night splints to keep foot stretched while
sleeping, compression stockings, as well as anti-inflammatory medication
(prescription and/or over the counter
While most people experience relief of symptoms within 4-6 weeks, some require more
advanced interventions. Your physical therapist will help you determine if and when to
consult a podiatrist and/or an orthopedist who specializes in foot and ankles. If you are
experiencing plantar fasciitis, contact Optimum Physical Therapy and Wellness and one
of our licensed physical therapist will help you on your journey to a pain free return to