Plantar Fasciitis and Heel Pain

Plantar Fasciitis is an acute or semi-acute inflammation of the band of connective tissue (the plantar fascia) that stretches across the sole of the foot. Plantar fasciitis is usually caused by stretching and/or partial rupture of the plantar fascia. Excessive stretching may be caused by:

· Excessive, long periods of foot pronation (collapsed arches).

· Landing hard on the sole of the foot.

· Quick foot acceleration and deceleration.

· Repetitive shock caused by heel strike.

Heel pain is a complaint we see often in the office. It is especially frequent with middle-aged patients who consistently stand for long periods of time. We usually find long-term, excessive fallen arches in patients with plantar fasciitis and heel pain. When the arches collapse and without proper support, the pronated foot places strain upon the plantar fascia eventually causing pain. Plantar fasciitis is also believed to be a contributing factor in the development of bone spurs.

By the Numbers:

· Obesity is seen in 70% of patients with plantar fasciitis.

· Women are 6 times more likely to get plantar fasciitis than men.

· 10% of the population will develop plantar fasciitis at some point.

· 90% of cases can be resolved with conservative care.

Comprehensive treatment of plantar fasciitis should include:

· Adjustments to address biomechanical issues in the foot as well as in the hips and low back. Yes, we can adjust your foot!

· Strengthening exercises for the foot and ankle.

· Limit activity to pain tolerance.

· Epsom salt foot baths can help with pain.

· Gentle massage.

· Control of excessive pronation using custom orthotics with shock absorbing material.

To prevent plantar fasciitis, start with custom made orthotics with proper arch support. Choose shoes with good shock absorption, a firm counter and a strong shank. Weight reduction if needed and finally, do not over-exert when the first signs of pain/discomfort start. If you feel the pain begin, easy does it.

A good acute treatment for heel pain and foot pain in general is an ice bath. This is especially helpful to do immediately following an injury or strain. Here’s the recipe.

Ice Bath for Foot Pain

1. Place painful foot in a basin filled with room temperature tap water.

2. Slowly add ice cubes one at a time.

3. Leave foot in ice bath for 5-8 minutes.

4. Repeat as needed.

If you suffer with plantar fasciitis or foot pain, give us a call! We can do a foot exam and do a 3-D scan of the feet to help determine any structural issues that may be present and will come up with a treatment plan just for you. I believe we can help.