Tuesday, 29 October 2013
Plantar fasciitis is a very common painful condition that affects the bottom of the foot. Its not really a fasciitis, with -itis meaning inflammation except in the early stages. Most cases are more of a degeneration of the ligament. The plantar fascia is a long ligament that goes across the bottom of the foot and supports the arch of the foot. As it supports the arch of the foot, then anything that puts an extra load on teh arch of the foot, such as tight calf muscles, high activity levels or obesity is going to increase the risk for plantar fasciitis. The typical symptoms of plantar fasciitis are pain under the heel and pain that is worse after getting up from rest where it can be quite disabling for those few steps. I like the treatment approach discussed here, especially the approach to not get taken in by the recent minimalism fad to treat it. The key to the treatment is to reduce the load in the plantar fascia with strapping, foot orthotics and reducing the activity levels or substituting other activities. The next step is to condition the plantar fascia to take the loads that get applied to it as well as reduce or eliminate the risk factors that caused it in the first place. If that does not help, there are a number of modalities that physical therapists can use to work on the tissues to help them heal.