Plantar fasciitis is one of the most common foot conditions that people suffer from. In regards to the foot, plantar fasciitis is the most common complaint we see and treat at our Edmonton health and wellness clinic.
Plantar Fasciitis affects approximately 10% of the population during their lifetime and is most commonly seen in people between the ages of 40-60 years old.
People that suffer from plantar fasciitis typically have pain first thing in the morning and experience pain throughout the day with weight-bearing. Although many people suffer from this condition, it is very treatable with conservative care.
What is Plantar Fasciitis?
Plantar fasciitis is an inflammation of the plantar fascia. The plantar fascia is a thick band of connective tissue that attaches from the heel of the foot to the toes. With enough use and irritation, the plantar fascia becomes inflamed; leading to sharp, sometimes burning pain at the bottom of your foot.
When you’re not walking, sitting, or standing on hard surfaces for long periods, the plantar fascia becomes tight and taut. When you walk or stand up after sitting for a while, your feet tend to be stiffer than usual because they’re unused to bearing any weight again.
When we start to bear weight again after a period of rest, the weight puts extra strain on the fascia and can cause pain in one or both heels. It may take several weeks or months after the first onset of pain before more serious symptoms occur.
Do I Have Plantar Fasciitis?
Plantar fasciitis usually affects people whose jobs involve walking or standing on hard surfaces for an extended period of time. It commonly affects runners who often run barefoot or wear inadequate footwear during training, especially when running long distances.
People that suffer from plantar fasciitis typically feel:
- Pain in the arch of the foot and/or heel
- Pain in the morning when taking their first step out of bed
- Pain after periods of prolonged sitting
- Pain can be sharp or burning/achy
- Tight calves
- Tightness and tenderness in the Achilles
- Pain relief with rest
Keep in mind that even though you may feel one or two of these symptoms, it does not necessarily mean that you have true plantar fasciitis. Sharp pain in the foot may be a sign of a condition involving the nerves in your feet or issues with the bones in the feet.
It is important to have an assessment performed by a skilled practitioner to determine if you are suffering from plantar fasciitis or not. A detailed history and exam will help determine the cause and appropriate treatment for your foot pain.
What Causes Plantar Fasciitis?
Plantar Fasciitis is most commonly associated with an overuse injury or a restriction of the biomechanics of the lower extremity (hip, knee, ankle, foot, big toe). Although the pain is felt at the bottom of the foot, there are many factors that can contribute to the development of plantar fasciitis.
The main causes of this condition are:
- Heel spur
- Tight calves increasing tension on the plantar fascia
- Overuse – increasing a training program too quickly
- Changed foot function – flat feet or high arches
- Restricted big toe mobility
- Decreased strength in the hamstring and glutes – increases demand on calves and plantar fascia
- Tight hip flexors – decreases gluteal activation
- Improper footwear
- Inefficient running technique
- Recent, sudden weight gain – pregnancy or poor diet
There are a variety of reasons someone may develop plantar fasciitis. Depending on the cause, certain treatments and recommendations will be provided to address the root problem that’s leading to your foot pain.
Determining and treating the cause of your foot pain will provide better long-term outcomes than just treating the symptoms. With the right treatment plan, the causes of plantar fasciitis are very treatable.
How Do We Treat Plantar Fasciitis?
At Enhanced Health & Wellness, we have a multi-disciplinary team of Chiropractors, Physiotherapists, and Registered Massage Therapists that have a variety of techniques to refer to depending on the cause of your condition.
Being treated by different skilled practitioners with our integrated approach will help address the fundamental issue from multiple viewpoints. Plantar fasciitis is a condition that can be treated conservatively with the right treatment, exercise, and preventative tips.
A combination of different treatments can include:
- Joint manipulation/mobilization
- Soft tissue therapy – massage, graston, active release
- Stretching and exercise to manage between treatments
- Custom orthotics to provide support and take stress off of the foot
- Advice on proper footwear and training
- Kinesio Taping
If your condition requires further testing or treatment, our practitioners will refer you to one of the trusted specialists in our network.
From a physical standpoint, there are different actions you can take to help prevent the occurrence of plantar fasciitis. Some simple steps would be to wear proper footwear and have a strategic plan when you know there will be an increase in time spent on your feet.
For example, if you want to take up running or walking as a form of exercise, slowly build your frequency, duration, or intensity up. Only one of those three variables should be increasing at any single time rather than all at once.
Another way to prevent plantar fasciitis is to correct any dysfunction in the hip, knees, calves, or feet with stretching and targeted exercise. Strengthening muscles such as the glutes and hamstrings will provide more efficient strides while you are walking or running.
What to Expect During Your First Visit
Meeting your practitioner for the first time can be a little intimidating. At Enhanced Health & Wellness, we work with our patients to ensure they are as comfortable as possible.
At your first appointment, your practitioner will go over a thorough history to determine the cause and mechanism of your condition. Before an exam and treatment are performed, they will review your comfort levels and possible things that you are uncomfortable with. Learning your thoughts about your condition and goals for treatment will help guide the treatment plan.
After a detailed exam is performed, treatment is administered the same day and a customized treatment plan will be created. The treatment plan will include: treatment options, education and advice, and possibly home exercises to work on.
Get Plantar Fasciitis Relief
In general, plantar fasciitis is common but manageable. Despite there being various reasons why someone can have foot pain, finding the right modalities and practitioners can help you address the underlying problem and decrease symptoms.
If you are experiencing foot pain and can relate with the symptoms mentioned above, give Enhanced Health a call or you can book online with one of our skilled practitioners.