Finally! With the warmer weather and longer days approaching, our daily activities seem to shift into high gear as we try and exercise our winter blues away. With the increase in activity levels and our determination to ditch our winter boots for flip flow, we tend to see an influx of foot problems hobble through the clinic. Once of the most common condition we see this time of year is Plantar Fasciitis.
Before we dive into what this condition is and what causes it, let's look at what the Plantar fascia is:
The Plantar fascia is a shock absorbing connective tissue that is like a bowstring which supports the arch of the foot. When tension or stress becomes too great, small tears can happen within the connective tissue fibers. These tears can become irritated and generate inflammation leading to pain, tightness and discomfort. A condition known as Plantar Fasciitis.
This is a painful condition that can cause a stabbing sensation in the bottom of the foot near your heel. Pain is usually worse in the first few steps after waking and then the pain becomes more tolerable throughout the day, then is replaced with tightness or discomfort as the day progresses. Without treatment, this cycle happens daily and severity increases, potentially causing problems in the knees, hips and back.
Improper Foot wear: (Flat, wrong size or worn out)
Poor Foot Mechanics: (Flat feet, abnormal walking pattern)
Occupation: (Excessive standing or walking)
Sports/Activities: (High impact or walking or running on uneven surfaces)
Weight: Excessive weight adds pressure causing damage
So now what?
By understanding the causes we can hopefully make changes to help prevent Plantar Fasciitis or minimize the flare up's. However, we understand some things are unavoidable, like work and activities you may enjoy. That's were we come in. In clinic, we can help you manage your symptoms or avoid suffering altogether. The following treatments have proven to help many sufferers:
- Massage and stretching techniques
- Cold Laser Therapy and Cryotherapy (ice)
- Foot adjustments
- Supplement counselling
- Fascial release techniques or Active Release Techniques
- Graston Techniques or Rock Blade (IASTM)
- Acupuncture (cupping and needling)
How to manage the symptoms at home?
- apply ice to painful area
- gently roll bottom of foot on a golf or tennis ball regularly (before the painful stage hits)
- rolling your feet on a frozen water bottle after a long day
- Stretching your calves regularily
- maintain a healthy weight
- wear supportive shoes around the house
- change your foot wear before shoes wear out
- avoid excessive walking or running on uneven surfaces
- alternate high impact days with lower impact days at the gym
- plan a rest day after long hikes, walks or runs
Thanks for helping us manage your care by reading our article. We're wishing you a Plantar Fasciitis free spring!
Dr. William Shannon, DC has spent over 25 years in practice. After seeing thousands of cases over the years, there isn't much he hasn't seen. Throughout his practice he has gained extensive knowledge and experience working with cases involving personal injury (MVA), chronic pain conditions, headaches and migraines, supplement deficiencies and injury relating to sports and work.