By: Samantha deCastro
Heel pain. Plantar Fascitis. These two are almost synonymous is the musculoskeletal world. But what exactly is Plantar Fascitis?
I will be honest, the prevalence of this in my office actually surprised me when I first started after graduation. Luckily there are some really positive outcomes with the different treatments we offer.
First off, what causes this annoying pain? What we think is going on is that repetitive walking/running causes microtrauma (and therefore inflammation) in the plantar fascia's attachment to the calcaneus (in English…the tissue that stretches across the bottom of your foot attaches to the heel bone). The tension stored in this tissue to help us walk can cause this microtrauma, and lead to the inflammation and even bone spurs that cause pain.
As mentioned, this is very common, about 15% of foot injuries. It is also more common in women and runners.
Symptoms include localized pain to the heel, pain first thing in the morning and symptoms that are better with rest. Flat feet can be part of the cause, as well as over pronation. Usually when the therapist pokes around the bottom of the foot by the heel, the pain is recreated. Xrays can be done as well, to determine if bone spurs are present.
For treatment; typically a referral to our pedorthist is in the books, to confirm if orthotics are needed. The main treatment I provide is Shockwave therapy, which has some pretty awesome results. Also, I will adjust the ankle and foot if needed, teach the patient strengthening exercises and how to use an ice bottle to roll out the plantar fascia. Correcting any biomechanical issues typically will also be done, so as to prevent the condition from coming back.
Have you been diagnosed with plantar fasciitis and can’t seem to find the right treatment? Or do you suspect that annoying heel pain you have when you get out of bed might fall into this category? Schedule an appointment with us today, and we can help!