Plantar Fasciitis – Identifying the condition, treatment options and prognosis
Plantar fasciitis is a common foot condition. It occurs in as many as 2 million Americans per year and 10% of the population over their lifetimes.
What is Plantar Fasciitis?
The plantar fascia is the flat band of tissue (ligament) that connects your heel bone to your toes. It supports the arch of your foot. If you strain your plantar fascia, it gets weak, swollen, and irritated (inflamed). However there is hope! Here at Rehab Guru, we specialize in the treatment of foot conditions such as PF. One of the most common symptoms is pain with your first steps in the morning. Usually if this does not resolve, the pain gets worse and is present with walking and gets worse through out the day.
What causes Plantar Fasciitis?
According to the American Physical Therapy Association some factors that contribute to the development of plantars fasciitis include:
- Age (over 40 years)
- A job, sport, or hobby that involves prolonged standing or other weight-bearing activity
- Rapid increases in length or levels of activity, such as beginning a new running program or changing to a job that requires a lot more standing or walking than you are accustomed to
- Decreased calf muscle flexibility
- Increased body weight (Body Mass Index greater than 30)
- Tendency to have a flat foot (pronation)
- Plantar fasciitis affects people of all ages, both athletes and non-athletes. Men and women have an equal chance of developing the condition.
What are the Signs and Symptoms of Plantar Fasciitis?
- Pain in the morning when taking the first steps of the day
- Pain with prolonged standing
- When standing up after sitting for awhile
- After an intense weight-bearing activity such as running, walking, shopping.
- When climbing stairs
- When walking barefoot or in shoes with poor support
As your body warms up, your pain may actually decrease during the day but then worsen again toward the end of the day because of extended walking. There are cases where the pain is intense and is constant.
A specially trained physical therapist can be very helpful to decrease these debilitating symptoms.
Plantar Fascia Treatment Options
When you are diagnosed with plantar fasciitis, your physical therapist will work with you to develop a program to decrease your symptoms that may include:
- Hands on techniques to improve muscle flexibility, decrease the presence of trigger points and improve ankle range of motion.
- Stretching exercises to improve the flexibility of your ankle and the plantar fascia
- Use of a night splint to maintain correct ankle and toe positions
- Selection of supportive footwear and/or shoe inserts that minimize foot pronation and reduce stress to the plantar fascia
- Application of ice to decrease pain and inflammation
- Iontophoresis (a gentle way to deliver medication through the skin)
- Taping of the foot to provide short-term relief
- Hands on techniques to improve muscle flexibility
At Rehab Guru we have a very high success rate in helping to alleviate plantars fasciitis. There are rare cases that require surgery but studies show that most of the time, conservative treatment is a viable option.
Call today 402.740.8400 or use out contact page for more info.