By now, you’ve maybe heard of several professional athletes who have suffered from a foot injury known as plantar fasciitis. This condition can be quite painful and can significantly limit your ability to walk on or use your foot. Fortunately, plantar fasciitis can be successfully treated, sometimes with surgery, and sometimes with physical therapy.
To better understand how to treat this condition, it helps to understand what it is, how it’s caused, and how to look for the risk factors.
What Is Plantar Fasciitis?
The plantar fascia is a thick, tough tissue on the bottom of the foot. It helps support the arch of the foot. Plantar fasciitis is a condition where this tissue gets inflamed and irritated.
Some people are more prone to plantar fasciitis when they have any number of the following risk factors:
- age – the most common age to have plantar fasciitis is between 40 and 60 years of age
- gender – women are more likely than men to get plantar fasciitis
- certain activities – running, especially, puts a lot of tension through the plantar fascia and can lead to injury and inflammation.
- either having flat feet or high arches can put more stress on the plantar fascia
- poor footwear
- jobs that involve being on the feet for extended periods of time
- being overweight or obese- extra weight on the feet puts increased stress on the plantar fascia
The primary symptom is usually a sharp pain in the bottom of the foot. The symptoms typically begin very gradually and get worse as time goes on. The pain is usually worst first thing in the morning or after sitting for an extended period of time. Usually after a few steps, the pain begins to ease some, but if a person remains on their feet for a long period of time, the pain will sometimes begin to get worse again.
Usually conservative treatment works well for plantar fasciitis. Treatments can include physical therapy for stretching and strengthening of the ankle. Sometimes people have good relief with night splints. Other treatments includes soft tissue mobilization, and anti-inflammatories. Plantar fasciitis tends to resolve eventually. Usually it resolves in several months, though it can take up to a couple of years. In the more severe cases, surgery may be required.
Which treatment is right for you? Just ask one of our physical therapists at Great Moves. In the state of Colorado, you can be seen by a physical therapist right away without a doctor’s referral. We have the experience and training to determine the extent of your injury and will refer you to the proper medical help.
If you think you might be suffering from plantar fasciitis or any form of foot pain, physical therapy may be your answer. Give us a call to schedule a free consultation with one of our fully-licensed physical therapists.
Recently edited. Originally published on Sep 18, 2010.