Plantar fasciitis is a painful condition affecting the bottom of the foot. It is a common cause of heel pain and is sometimes called a heel spur. Plantar fasciitis is defined as inflammation of the origin of the plantar fascia and fascial structures around the area. Plantar fasciitis is usually just on one side. Only 10% of the case is at both side.
The plantar fascia is a thick band of connective tissue. It runs from the front of the heel bone (calcaneus) to the ball of the foot. This dense strip of tissue helps support the arch of the foot by acting something like the string on an archer’s bow. It is the source of the painful condition plantar fasciitis.
When the foot is on the ground a tremendous amount of force (the full weight of the body) is concentrated on the plantar fascia. This force stretches the plantar fascia as the arch of the foot tries to flatten from the weight of your body. This is just how the string on a bow is stretched by the force of the bow trying to straighten. This leads to stress on the plantar fascia where it attaches to the heel bone. Small tears of the fascia can result. As this process of injury over and over again, bone spur (a pointed outgrowth of the bone) sometimes forms as the body’s response to try to firmly attach the fascia to the heelbone. This appears on an X-ray of the foot as a heel spur. Bone spurs occur along with plantar fasciitis but they are not the cause of the problem.
The symptoms of plantar fasciitis include pain along the inside edge of the heel near the arch of the foot. The pain is worse when weight is placed on the foot. This is usually most pronounced in the morning when the foot is first placed on the floor.
Prolonged standing can increase the painful symptoms. It may feel better after activity but most patients report increased pain by the end of the day. Pressing on this part of the heel causes tenderness. Pulling the toes back toward the face can be very painful.
Physiotherapy treatment is most effective to treat plantar fasciitis. We will have you do some foot exercises to encourage normal gliding of the tendon. Our physiotherapist will show you ways to change your activities to prevent triggering and to give the inflamed area a chance to heal. Our therapy sessions will apply heat, Shortwave, ultrasound, shock wave will help to reduce inflammation of the feet. The goal of your treatment is to decrease inflammation and help patient to return to pain free status.
Stand as shown, with your back leg straight and heel down. Move your hips forward until you feel a stretch in your calf. Switch legs and repeat. Do this exercise 3 times per set, 3 sets per day.
To strengthen arch muscles, place a towel on the floor, grab the towel with your toes and pull it toward you. Repeat with your other foot. Do this exercise 3 times per set, 3 sets per day.