Plantar fasciitis is a common foot condition that causes pain in the heel and bottom of the foot. The condition is caused by strain and overuse of the plantar fascia, a band of tissue that runs along the bottom of the foot, connecting the heel bone to the toes.
The most common cause of plantar fasciitis is prolonged standing or walking on hard surfaces, such as concrete, which can put excessive stress on the plantar fascia. Other risk factors include obesity, high arches or flat feet, and tight calf muscles. Those who engage in activities such as running, dancing, or other high-impact sports are also at a higher risk for developing plantar fasciitis.
Treatment for plantar fasciitis typically involves a combination of rest, stretching, and physical therapy. Ice therapy can be used to reduce inflammation and pain, while stretching exercises can help to loosen tight muscles and tendons in the foot and calf. Physical therapy can help to strengthen the muscles in the foot and ankle, which can help to take pressure off of the plantar fascia. In some cases, a doctor may recommend orthotic inserts or shoe inserts to provide support and cushioning to the heel and arch.
In severe cases, a doctor may recommend corticosteroid injections or extracorporeal shockwave therapy (ESWT) to reduce inflammation and pain. In rare cases, surgery may be necessary to correct the condition.
To prevent plantar fasciitis, it is important to maintain a healthy weight, and to wear shoes that provide adequate support and cushioning for the foot and heel. Stretching and strengthening exercises for the foot and calf muscles can also help to prevent the condition. Avoiding prolonged standing or walking on hard surfaces, and taking frequent breaks when engaging in activities that put stress on the feet can also help to prevent plantar fasciitis.
- Plantar fasciitis is a common foot condition caused by strain and overuse of the plantar fascia.
- Risk factors include prolonged standing/walking on hard surfaces, obesity, high arches/flat feet, tight calf muscles and high-impact sports.
- Treatment typically involves rest, stretching, physical therapy, ice therapy, orthotic inserts and in severe cases corticosteroid injections, extracorporeal shockwave therapy and surgery.
- To prevent plantar fasciitis maintain a healthy weight, wear proper shoes and stretching and strengthening exercises for the foot and calf muscles.
- Avoid prolonged standing or walking on hard surfaces and take frequent breaks when engaging in activities that put stress on the feet.
It is important to note that treating plantar fasciitis is not only about addressing the pain and inflammation in the heel and bottom of the foot, but also about addressing any underlying imbalances or dysfunctions in the kinetic chain that may be contributing to the condition. One important aspect of this is increasing end range hip extension.
The hip plays a crucial role in the kinetic chain of the lower body and can have a significant impact on the function of the foot and ankle. When the hip is tight or has limited range of motion, it can cause compensations in the foot and ankle, which can lead to overuse and strain of the plantar fascia. By increasing end range hip extension, the glutes and other hip muscles can work more effectively to support the foot and ankle, reducing stress on the plantar fascia. This can help to alleviate pain and inflammation, and prevent recurrence of the condition. Incorporating exercises that target the hip such as hip bridges, clamshells and fire hydrants can be effective in increasing end range hip extension.