Plantar Fasciitis is a disorder of the connective tissue that links your toes to your heel. Since this tissue runs across the bottom of your foot and supports your arch, any stress, weakness, swelling or inflammation along this ligament can manifest as foot pain, while walking or standing.
Causes and Risk Factors: Essentially, your plantar fascia absorbs the shocks of the regular movement of your feet, but repetitive strain and tears can cause this ligament to become inflamed or irritated and cause plantar fasciitis. Typically affecting middle-aged people with high-arches or flat feet, this condition can also occur amongst athletes, soldiers, teachers and youngsters who are on their feet a lot. You are more likely to strain your plantar fascia if:
- You are overweight
- You use ill-fitting or worn out footwear
- Your calf muscles or Achilles tendons are tight
- You have excessive pronation (feet tend to roll inward while you walk)
Symptoms: If you notice a stabbing pain in the bottom of your foot as soon as you get out of bed, or after sitting or standing for long periods of time, it may be due to plantar fasciitis. While the pain may wear off after the first few steps, your foot may hurt more during the day, especially when you climb stairs. If you have foot pain at night, that may be a symptom of a different problem, such as arthritis or a nerve issue.
Cure: In addition to your medical history and a physical examination, your doctor will ascertain the exact spot of tenderness or pain in the foot to diagnose if it is related to your plantar fascia. In order to treat this condition, your doctor may advise you to:
- Rest your foot as much as possible and ice it in case of swelling
- Soak your foot in warm water with some Epsom salts
- Cut back on certain activities or sports that aggravate the condition
- Get new footwear that offers good arch support and has a cushioned sole
- Take over-the-counter pain relief medication, such as ibuprofen or naproxen
- Do physical therapy treatments that involve stretching and strengthening exercises
If the conservative methods do not offer any relief over an extended period of time, your doctor may recommend certain steroid injections, extracorporeal shock wave therapy, scar tissue removal procedure, or surgery to detach the plantar fascia from the heel bone.
At Medical Rehabilitation Centers of Pennsylvania (MRCP), we have decades of experience in treating plantar fasciitis through physical therapy. Our licensed physical therapists will work with you closely to prepare your customized treatment plans.
For comprehensive diagnostics and tailor-made physical therapy treatments in and around Philadelphia and the Greater Philadelphia Area, contact MRCP. Visit us at one of our convenient locations or contact us online.