Plantar Fasciitis

The plantar fascia is a ligament-like band running from your heel to the ball of your foot. This band pulls on the heel bone, raising the arch of your foot as it pushes off the ground. If your foot moves incorrectly, the plantar fascia becomes strained. The fascia can then swell and its tiny fibers may begin to fray, causing plantar fasciitis. Most often plantar fasciitis is caused by poor foot mechanics. Flat foot may overstretch the fascia and cause it to swell. If the foot flattens too little, the fascia may ache from being pulled too tight. Heel spurs may develop near the spot where the fascia attaches to the heel in response to the plantar fascia’s tug on the heel bone. The symptoms of plantar fasciitis are most commonly pain along the bottom of the foot with standing, especially first thing in the morning. The pain usually occurs on the inside of the foot near where the heel and arch meet. The pain may lessen after a few steps, but returns with rest or prolonged movement. Evaluation consists of feeling for damaged ligaments, inflamed tendons, and displaced bones or joints. Walking patterns to asses if pain is being created by altered or incorrect foot movement is also a key part of the evaluation. Treatment may consist of adjusting the foot to restore normal alignment, trigger point therapy and stretching to restore normal movement patterns in the bones of the foot. Cold laser therapy may also be utilized to assist in accelerating healing of the fascia. In some cases taping the foot for support or fitting for custom orthotics may be indicated.

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