Plantar Fasciitis Key Insights
Plantar fasciitis is a very common and painful condition located at either the heel or the bottom arch of the foot. It is caused by a strain of the plantar fascia (the main ligament at the bottom of the foot). Inflammation of the plantar fascia is called “plantar fasciitis.” In addition, heel pain can also be caused in conjunction with a bony growth on the underside of the heel, called a heel spur. Some people report their pain is the worst in the morning and even say it feels like they are “stepping on glass.” Pain caused by plantar fasciitis can vary in severity, from minor irritation to debilitating pain.
What Causes Plantar Fasciitis or Heel Spurs?
Some common factors that can cause plantar fasciitis or heel spurs include:
- Flat feet/overpronation
- Excessive exercise
- Poor footwear
- Wearing high heels
- Work-related strain (e.g. standing on your feet all day without taking enough breaks)
- Poor walking / running mechanics
What can I do to Treat Plantar Fasciitis?
- Book an assessment with a physiotherapist or a chiropractor. They will assess your gait and examine the muscles in your foot and legs. They will also examine the shape and structure of your foot to determine what is the best solution for you.
- Physiotherapy and chiropractic treatments can help to alleviate foot pain. This type of therapy would include hands-on manual treatment and pain relieving modalities. Some examples include IFC, laser, taping, and acupuncture.
- Following prescribed stretches and exercises will help alleviate and balance tight muscles and ligaments.
- Custom orthotics can help take the pressure off the arch of the foot and provide extra padding around the heel, especially if there is a heel spur. Orthotics will help align the bones and ligaments of the foot and they can usually provide immediate relief.
- A night splint or plantar fascia brace may help, especially if one feels pain upon getting out of bed in the morning and taking a few steps.
- Icing may help as the cold can decrease inflammation. It’s recommended to use a water bottle as the rigidity of a bottle can help stretch and release tight foot muscles and ligaments when it is rolled over the affected area. Steps: place a plastic water bottle into your freezer and once frozen, remove from the freezer and roll the water bottle over the bottom of your foot for 5-10 minutes. It usually helps to repeat this process up to three times a day.
- Replace worn-out shoes and invest in proper footwear. At Mount Dennis Weston Physiotherapy and Chiropractic Centre, we can help recommend a pair of shoes that suits you best.
- An x-ray may be necessary to see if there is a heel spur. Obtaining an x-ray would assist in our diagnosis and treatment plan.