What is Plantar Fasciitis and How Do I Treat It? - IMPACT Physical Therapy

What is Plantar Fasciitis and How Do I Treat It?

What is Plantar Fasciitis and How Do I Treat It?

What is Plantar Fasciitis and How Do I Treat It?

Are you feeling pain in your heel? Are the bottoms of one or both of your feet inflamed? There is a chance you may have plantar fasciitis, a condition that can cause sharp, stabbing pain and inflammation in your feet, usually occurring in the morning or after long periods of standing. It is important to see a physician at first signs of heel or ball of foot pain to diagnose this condition, since plantar fasciitis may evolve into chronic foot pain that can hinder your ability to walk and move. If not treated early, the pain can even lead to knee, hip, or back problems due to your impaired walking mobility. Fortunately, this common condition can be treated with physical therapy, exercises, and resting techniques.

Causes of Plantar Fasciitis

If you’re experiencing arch and heel pain, plantar fasciitis is likely the reason behind it. Plantar fasciitis itself is typically caused by:
  • Inflammation of the thick bowstring of tissue, called the plantar fascia, which runs across the bottom of your foot to connect your heel bone to your toes. 
  • Excess tension and stress on the plantar fascia, leading to small tears and reducing its effectiveness as a shock absorber. 
  • Repeated stress and tearing, causing the fascia to become inflamed.
  • Tight shoes, abnormal walking patterns, and tightness in the calves.
As you might expect, plantar fasciitis is prevalent in occupations or activities that keep you on your feet, so it’s commonly experienced by teachers, factory workers, and healthcare professionals.

Lifestyle Remedies for Plantar Fasciitis

You don’t need to worry about putting your life on hold because of this condition because there are many noninvasive treatments for plantar fasciitis:
  • Massage – Try massaging your calves and the bottoms of your feet with your thumbs, a golf ball, or a frozen water bottle to help break up adhesions and reduce inflammation. This should reduce the intensity of your foot pain. Perform massage exercises twice a day, in the morning and evening, to prevent debilitatingly painful flare-ups.
  • Orthotics – Another nonsurgical way you can treat plantar fasciitis is with orthotics, commonly known as custom foot supports. Orthotics are designed and specially fitted for your feet to help distribute the pressure between your feet. With less pressure on the bottoms of your feet, your plantar fascia can recover in peace.

The Importance of Physical Therapy

Physical therapy is an integral part of treating plantar fasciitis. A licensed physical therapist can:
  • Teach you how to properly stretch, reducing the stress on your plantar fascia and Achilles tendons.
  • Suggest exercises and proper walking techniques to help stabilize your walk and lessen the pressure on your feet.
  • Perform a gait analysis to identify any bad habits or running form deficiencies that may be causing the added stress on the bottoms of your feet.

Treat Plantar Fasciitis at IMPACT

Plantar fasciitis is a painful condition that can only be improved with proper treatment. At IMPACT Physical Therapy, we have a team of highly qualified and dedicated clinicians who will create a treatment plan customized for your needs. In addition to treating foot pain, we also offer an extensive array of specialty physical therapy, recovery, and fitness services to suit your lifestyle. Contact us today at one of our six Chicago-area locations to learn more about how IMPACT can help!