What is Plantar Fasciitis?
The plantar fascia is a thick band of fibrous tissue that runs from your heel bone to the toes. It is partially responsible for maintaining the arch of your foot. Some things that can strain the plantar fascia include:
- Sudden increase in activity level
- Being overweight
- Having flat feet or tight calf muscles
- Wearing unsupportive shoes or high heels
- Prolonged standing
When the plantar fascia is strained, it develops microscopic tears. Scar tissue then forms, making the fascia even less flexible. If not corrected, a vicious cycle of
tear-heal-tear occurs which results in pain in the arch and heel of the foot. Often
times the pain is most excruciating during your first few steps out of bed,
making you feel much older than you are! This is called plantar fasciitis. Eventually the tension of the fascia pulling on the bone can cause heel spurs as the body lays down bone to protect itself.
What can I do at home?
- Wear supportive shoes/orthotic inserts
- Lose weight
- Stretch your calf muscles
- Roll your foot on a frozen golf ball
- Reduce walking/running until it heals, then gradually increase
If it is still bothering you...
The traditional medical approach is to try cortisone injections first, and if that doesn’t work, perform surgery to release the plantar fascia. Both options are invasive, painful, and do not always work. You may want to consider the Graston Technique first. This patented soft-tissue technique works by
breaking down the scar tissue and bringing blood and nutrients to the area so
that it can heal. It also releases painful tigger points, or “knots” in the
muscles of the lower leg and foot which often mimic the symptoms of plantar
fasciitis. Usually a course of 6-12 treatment sessions are required for full recovery, depending on the severity of your plantar fasciitis.