What a Pain in the....Heel!
Plantar Fasciitis seems to be a condition we are seeing more and more of these days. Runners, hikers, walkers, and people that are just on their feet all day can all be affected by this nagging pain in the heel.
If you have not yet experienced plantar fasciitis you may not know what it is or how it affects people. Research has shown roughly one out of 10 people experience plantar fasciitis at some point in their life. So there is a good chance you know someone dealing with this every day.
What is plantar fasciitis?
The plantar fascia is the connective tissue that supports the arch of the foot and connects the heel bone to the bone of the toes. When this tissue becomes inflamed it causes a condition known as plantar fasciitis.
Inflammation of this fascia affects people in different ways. Stabbing pain, in the bottom of the foot/heel, especially first thing in the morning is one of the most common symptoms. Usually worse after exercise and after standing for extended periods of time.
Many people live with the pain or try over the counter pain medications to treat the symptoms, but unfortunately, they are unable to get complete relief.
So, what can you do if you or someone you know is suffering?
First and foremost seek the help of a qualified professional. The exercises listed below are intended to help but are no means the only treatment you should use if you want to get out of pain and stay out of pain.
Let’s start with those exercises…
First, the eccentric calf raises. Tight calves are often linked to plantar fasciitis, but standard stretches are not quite enough. This exercise should be performed on a step with something for you to hold on to to maintain your balance. Click here to see how to perform this exercise.
Second, is another stretch utilizing a stair. This one targets the bigger calf muscle, known as the gastrocnemius, that is seen when someone is standing on their toes. Click here for a tutorial.
Third, is a stretch that targets the muscle, that lies beneath the gastrocnemius. This muscle is a little harder to target and the stretch is similar to that of the gastrocnemius. Click here to see how to target this deep calf muscle.
Finally, ankle mobilization is necessary to prevent a recurrence later on as well as improve complex movements like the movement pattern in a squat. Click here to see how to improve ankle mobility.
There are other treatment options for plantar fasciitis and the main go to in the medial world is a steroid injection. Studies show that initially patients that undergo this treatment have more immediate pain relief but the relief is short lived. Soft tissue work and mobilization show more pain relief and less recurrence after 12 months.
A conservative treatment plan is typically the best way to treat plantar fasciitis. At our office we like to pair deep tissue laser, exercises and sometimes dry needling to help our patients return to their active lifestyles.
If you have any questions please feel free to give us a call at (720) 207-3010 or email us at email@example.com.
Yours in health,
Drs. Jeric and Amanda Toney