Plantar Fasciitis

Plantar Fasciitis

Recently Michael Curtis posted a great article about the Causes of Plantar Fasciitis.

Michael lists 10 options for treatment:

In no particular order, here are some treatment options:

  1. Stretch the Achilles: since it’s likely you’ll have limited ankle dorsiflexion with Plantar Fasciitis, you may want to try stretching the Achilles (see photo below). Since the Achilles attaches to the opposite end of the same heel bone as the plantar fascia, stiffness in the Achilles may be causing excessive stress on the attachment point of the fascia – might as well give it some stress relief.

 

  • Lean against a wall with the affected foot behind you
  • Keep the back foot straight with the heel on the ground
  • Keep your back knee straight
  • Lean forward until a good stretch in the calf and Achilles is felt
  • Hold this stretch at least 30 seconds

2. Stretch the plantar fascia: non weight-bearing stretching of the plantar fascia (see photo below) has been shown to be superior to Achilles stretching23. My advice: do both – they’re easy and don’t take much time.

 

  • Cross the affected leg over the other leg
  • Place your fingers across the base of the toes
  • Pull the toes back toward the shin until a stretch is felt in the arch or plantar fascia
  • Feel for tension in the plantar fascia
  • Hold this stretch at least 30 seconds

3. Wear Dorsiflexion night splints: they’ve been shown to improve symptoms in 88% of patients and have a 73% satisfaction rate after just 1 month of use24. The downside is that they are a bit on the bulky side and people don’t always stick to wearing them.

4. Wear a pre-fabricated over-the-counter shoe insert: when combined with a stretching program, its been shown that these types of shoe inserts produce better results than custom-made orthotics25 (which cost hundreds of dollars). Their purpose is to help correct excessive foot pronation.

5. ICE: try a rolling the bottom of the foot on a frozen water bottle for up to 15-20 minutes – especially after activity.

6. Rest: If you’re a runner, rest is a must. Reduce your miles, slow down, or stop completely. A lot of runners try to run through the pain, which only serves to make symptoms worse. Allow the tissues to heal. Sometimes this means stopping for several months.

7. NSAIDs: may be helpful in acute cases.

8. Local Corticosteroid injections: occasionally, these can be beneficial, but multiple injections is discouraged.

9. Casting: wearing a fiberglass cast for 6 months shows results of 25% of people having a complete resolution of symptoms26.

10. Surgery: this shouldn’t even be a consideration until after a year of persistent symptoms. Even then, less than 50% of patients with chronic heel pain are satisfied with the results of surgery27.

Hope Physical Therapy and Wellness Colorado Springs

HOPE Physical Therapy can help work through the pain and improve your mobility.

Read the article here.

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