If you have ever dealt with some sort of heel pain there’s a good chance that you were dealing with plantar fasciitis. It is the most common cause of heel pain and something we see most often when a patient comes to our office with pain at the bottom of their foot.
What exactly is plantar fasciitis?
Quite literally, plantar fasciitis is the inflammation (-itis) of the fascia on the bottom (plantar) side of your foot. Plantar fasciitis is caused when the ligament that connects your toes to your heel (the plantar fascia) becomes inflamed, swollen, and weak.
This causes the bottom of your foot or heel to hurt when you walk or stand, especially when you first wake or after sitting for a long time.
The pain usually beings as “tightness” or “soreness”, then eventually tends to become a sharp and stabbing pain. The pain tends to gradually decrease throughout the day, but may worsen with prolonged standing or athletic activity.
It is the most common cause of heel pain and is more prevalent among middle-aged people. However, anyone can get it at any age, especially people who spend a lot of time on their feet.
How is plantar fasciitis treated?
- Chiropractic Adjustments. Since the plantar fascia is most susceptible to tearing when your toes rapidly dorsiflex (extend upwards) during walking/running, it is important to strengthen the muscles that will limit the speed of dorsiflexion in order to prevent re-injury.
- Graston and/or Myofascial Release. The Graston Technique involves instrument-assisted soft tissue mobilization to treat soft tissue fibrosis and chronic inflammation. The Graston Technique breaks up the scar tissue patches seen in plantar fasciitis and causes proper healing in those areas. Treatment increases the speed of healing and quickly reduces the sharp pain.
- Fascial work is utilized to break up the adhesions that have formed over time from the micro-tearing. Without this step, the plantar fascia may remain chronically tight until corrected.
- Strengthen Flexor Digitorum Brevis, Flexor Hallucis Brevis, and Flexor Hallucis Longus. Since the plantar fascia is most susceptible to tearing when your toes rapidly dorsiflex (extend upwards) during walking/running, it is important to strengthen the muscles that will limit the speed of dorsiflexion in order to prevent re-injury.
- Elastic Sports Tape. While your foot is healing, the elastic tape provides comfortable support for the arch serving to relax the foot and reduce inflammation.
I think I have Planter fasciitis. What should I do now?
If you or someone you know has been dealing with heal pain, whether you suspect it to be plantar fasciitis or not, schedule an appointment with your chiropractor to discuss your treatment options.