Do you wake up in the morning with significant pain in the arch or the heel of your foot? Are you limited in the distance you are walking or running due to the arch/heel pain? If so, you are likely experiencing what we call Plantar Fasciitis! You may have tried medications, such as anti-inflammatories or even a steroid injection, which provided you with temporary relief and then it’s back to haunt you again! Then you go to your last resort and ask Dr. Google who directs you to this blog. Well my lucky friend, reading this blog will lead you in the right direction so you will be able to wake up in the morning without that dreaded pain in your foot slowing you down so you can start your day off the right foot😊.
So, what is plantar fasciitis? On the bottom of your foot you have a fibrous tissue called the fascia that attaches the “ball” of your foot to your heel. This fascia can be irritated by several stressors such as running, weight gain, improper footwear, weakness, and lack of flexibility. People who are flat footed (Pes Planus) are more prone to having plantar fasciitis. Common “treatments” for this condition include medications and surgery which have been reported to have no permanent results. Surgery has the potential to lead to increased scarring of the plantar fascia putting you back to square one. Another common treatment is steroid injections which have shown to have adverse effects such as osteoporosis (brittle bones) making you prone to fractures.
Now let’s talk about a treatment that works! Physical Therapy – the “hidden gem in healthcare”. Physical Therapists are trained to evaluate your plantar fasciitis, the underlying cause, and the deficits you may present (weakness, tightness, abnormal biomechanics). After evaluation, the physical therapist puts together a plan of care addressing those limitations. Physical therapy treatments may consist of manual therapy (soft tissue massage or “hands on” stretching), prescribed therapeutic exercises, and education of proper footwear/inserts. Typically, it can take someone anywhere from 1-3 months to resolve their condition of plantar fasciitis with adherence to the PT plan of care.
Don’t let plantar fasciitis slow your day down anymore! Contact your local physical therapist to schedule your evaluation to get you back on the right foot😊.
Dr. Nathaniel Christadoss, PT, DPT, CKTP