Pain shouldn’t be the first thing you feel in the morning when you get up from your bed to take a step. You shouldn’t feel pain under your foot throughout the day as you go about your everyday activities. Physical therapists at Polygon PT are here to help you get rid of that nagging heel pain – of which plantar fasciitis might just be the cause. If you have been experiencing symptoms lately, request an appointment to see a therapist today. Your feet will thank you!
What is Plantar Fasciitis?
Plantar Fasciitis is the most common complaint of pain in the foot. It’s a condition that causes pain under the heel. The Plantar fascia, a thick fibrous cord of tissue runs across the bottom of your foot, connecting your heel bone to your toes. As we go about our daily lives using our feet, pressure is placed on this ligament. Too much pressure results in inflammation of the plantar fascia, which in turn causes heel stiffness and pain.
Causes of Plantar Fasciitis
Although the plantar fascia is made to absorb the shock and pressure we place on our feet, too much pressure can cause inflammation. Active persons and younger persons are more likely to develop plantar fasciitis. Women are slightly more at risk than men. Some pregnant women might experience this condition during late pregnancy. Obesity (overweight) is a risk factor for plantar fasciitis. Having too much weight places pressure on the ligament. Runners are also at risk of developing plantar fasciitis, especially long-distance runners. Jobs or activities that require you to be up, on your feet, such as serving in a restaurant, or working in a factory also contribute. Other contributing factors are having a high arch, flat feet, or tighter calf muscles.
Symptoms of Plantar Fasciitis
The major symptom of plantar fasciitis is pain. This pain develops gradually and may be dull or sharp. Pain is usually felt at the bottom of the heel, and sometimes in the middle area of the foot. The pain is worse when you take your first steps in the morning, when you stand for long, or when you stand up after sitting for a long time. Pain can also be felt after exercise or prolonged activity, not during it.
Diagnosing Plantar Fasciitis
At Polygon PT, a physical therapist will examine your medical history, after which a physical examination of your foot will be done. Your therapist will check for tenderness and the exact location of the pain. You may also be required to flex your feet. Your therapist will take note if flexing your feet increases your pain, and pointing your toe reduces it. Imaging tests such as X-ray or ultrasound may be required to rule out other heel pain such as fractures.
Treatment for Plantar Fasciitis?
Physical therapy is effective for treating plantar fasciitis. Your therapist will design a custom treatment plan for you. This will include stretching exercises that target the plantar fascia and Achilles tendon. Strengthening and motion exercises for your lower leg are also included. This helps to strengthen the lower leg muscles and improve the motion of the foot. Your therapist will ask that you rest your foot, and apply ice on the affected area at least 2 times daily for 30 minutes. Night splints may be prescribed to stretch the plantar fascia while you sleep. Thick shoe inserts may be recommended to provide extra cushioning for the foot while you go about your daily activities. Surgery is rarely ever needed for plantar fasciitis. Recovery time for plantar Fasciitis is around 4-6 months with a consistent treatment plan.
Get Started With Physical therapy for Plantar Fasciitis Today
If left to go away on its own, recovery for plantar fasciitis can take up to 18 months. This is 1 year more than it would take when you use physical therapy. With physical therapy, you are certain of getting rid of your pain without the need for potentially harmful medications in the shortest time. Ready to get started? Request an appointment with a physical therapist right now.