Plantar fasciitis is no fun. It can be stubborn, painful, and very limiting. Risk factors for plantar fasciitis include the very active population, but those who are overweight often can develop this as well.
Some of the telltale signs that you are experiencing symptoms of plantar fasciitis is pain along the bottom of the foot. Most often, this pain is worse after you have been off your feet for some period of time. Getting up from bed in the morning or up from the couch after a Netflix marathon causes high pain levels in those first few steps. It will often decrease as you walk a little bit. The pain is usually found throughout the bottom of the foot. Usually, you’ve got more pain and tenderness just in front of the heel.
So what is plantar fasciitis? It is inflammation of the plantar fascia (which is basically connective tissue on the bottom of your foot). This happens from repeatedly stressing this tissue over and over again. There are contributing factors that cause this to lead to pain. One of the biggest factors is calf length and ankle mobility. If your calf muscles are unable to lengthen enough with each step, then more stress gets placed upon the plantar fascia. The ankle’s ability to move absorbs that stress, so if you lack dorsiflexion, then you are at higher risk for plantar fasciitis. Another structural indicator is pes planus (flat feet), which will also lead to altered mechanics that put undue stress on the fascia.
A rehab plan with a knowledgeable physical therapist is incredibly important in recovery. And the sooner you get a professional involved, the easier it will be to recover. Your therapist will help you in finding the right ways to build strength and flexibility to alleviate your symptoms. Assessing the way you walk or run and finding the right footwear is imperative as well. Making any needed corrections will also help.
As with any condition, you want to treat it conservatively FIRST. Other options that may be used if therapy fails to include surgically cutting the plantar fascia (highly discouraged…I’ve never actually seen this work), steroid injections, plasma-rich protein (PRP) injections, or other procedures to remove certain damaged tissues from the plantar fascia. None of these are ideal when compared to conservative means. This means you should get help early because that leads to the highest likelihood of achieving the results that you want. This also means that if you think the symptoms you are experiencing might be plantar fasciitis, then you should call Backcountry Physical Therapy TODAY! We are experts in helping athletes recover from these types of injuries. If you would like to set up a free phone consult, then call 719-285-9670 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.