Plantar Fasciitis

Do the first few steps you take getting out of bed every morning feel like knives in your heel? Does the throbbing in your foot become worse as the day progresses? You may have plantar fasciitis, a common — and easily treated — condition.

What Is Plantar Fasciitis?

Plantar Fasciitis is one of the most common causes of heel pain. It involves the inflammation of a thick band of tissue that runs across the bottom of your foot and connects your heel bone to your toes. This causes a stabbing or burning pain that typically occurs with your first steps in the morning. It’s usually worse in the morning because the fascia tightens overnight. As your foot limbers up throughout the day, the pain of plantar fasciitis normally decreases.

Plantar fasciitis can be treated using a physical therapy program that includes exercises, stretching, manual therapy, icing the affected area, and taking anti-inflammatory medication.

How Does Physical Therapy Help with Plantar Fasciitis?

Although it’s a common condition, many people choose to do nothing about heel pain besides “deal with it.”  Plantar fasciitis is not a difficult diagnosis to cure quickly if it is taken care of when the symptoms first come on. The longer you wait, the harder it is to fix. Our physical therapists are trained to evaluate and treat plantar fasciitis.

We will work with you to develop a program that will decrease your symptoms that often includes:

  • Stretching exercises that improve the flexibility of your ankle and the plantar fascia
  • Using a splint to maintain correct ankle and toe positions at night
  • Selecting supportive footwear and/or shoe inserts that reduce stress to the plantar fascia
  • Applying ice to decrease pain and inflammation
  • Taping the foot to provide short-term pain relief

Most cases of plantar fasciitis improve over time with these conservative treatments, and surgery is rarely required.

What Are Shin Splints?

Shin splints are another common lower extremity injury. This anterior shin pain can be caused from high repetition activities like running, soccer, or football. The pain usually stems from either inflammation of the muscle in front of your shin (Tibialis Anterior) or irritation to the periosteum (the outermost layer of tissue surrounding a bone). A thorough screening from a medical professional of the ankle, knee, hip and low back can give greater insight as to what tissues are affected and which muscles and joints may be weak or restricted.

If these symptoms sound familiar or you are having other lower leg symptoms that are preventing you from doing the activities you love, give us a call.  We can give you the information and the help you need to get you back to your healthy, active lifestyle — fast.

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