By Heather Baker, PTA
What is Plantar Fasciitis?
The plantar fascia is a band of tissue that runs along the bottom of your foot that supports your arch and absorbs the stresses and strains you put on our feet. Sometimes these stresses are too great and this can cause damage to the tissue causing an irritation or inflammatory response which results in plantar fasciitis foot pain.
Causes of Plantar Facisiitis
● Jobs that require you to be on your feet for long periods of time
● Foot mechanics or poor footwear support
● Age- occurs most frequently between the age of 40-60
● Obesity – increased weight/stress on the foot
● Athletics that require frequent, repetitive running and jumping
● Standing on hard surfaces
Symptoms of Plantar Facisiitis
Symptoms of plantar fasciitis typically present as pain near the heel or tenderness along the arch of the foot.
Pain may be most intense when:
● In the morning when first getting out of bed
● After standing for long periods of time
● Walking barefoot or in shoes with minimal arch support
● When standing after sitting for a long time
● Pain can sometimes be lessened with activity but can become worse after prolonged activity
Treatment of Plantar Facisiitis
Your treatment may include:
● Rest/Exercise modifications – avoid activities that make your pain worse
● Orthotics- to help support arch and reside stress on plantar fascia
● Ice/Medication – Applying ice or rolling your foot on a frozen water bottle to help decrease inflammation. Your Dr may also recommend taking NSAID medication.
● Physical Therapy- PT can provide services such as IASTM (instrumented soft tissue mobilization), tapping (for short term pain control), and dry needling (to release trigger points/knots in the muscle). A Physical Therapist can also provide you with certain exercises to strengthen leg muscles to support your ankle/foot.
● Stretching – Plantar fascia/arch stretches and calf stretches should be performed several times a day
○ Stretching Examples- Hold these stretches for 30 secs and perform 3-5 times. Roll the foot on a frozen water bottle for 3 mins.
Plantar fasciitis has shown to be typically improved with these conservative treatments and surgery is less often needed.