There are many people walking around with terrible foot pain, but who aren’t successful in finding relief.  They suffer weakness, weight gain, and emotional stress, because of the debilitating effects of this kind of pain.  One of these common conditions is Plantar Fasciitis.  There is pain and inflammation of the plantar fascia of the foot and is felt usually in the arch of the foot and/or where the arch and heel meet (or area where the plantar fascia attaches to the heel bone) which is underneath and just in front of the heel bone.  It is a condition that typically begins as an overuse injury or a return-to-exercise injury.

This condition is common among athletes, middle aged, and elderly.  It usually begins due to new activity or new exercise regime.  For instance, someone who is sedentary at a desk job for many months decides to start a exercise program and begins running 10 miles a week as an attempt to lose the 5 or 10 lbs. they gained at the new job.  Although this individual may have been a high school track star, their body is now deconditioned and this new program of pounding the pavement, stresses this ligament causing some micro-tearing in the ligament or at the attachment site.

The result is pain and tenderness which originally is felt with running (or whatever activity began the injury), but then as the condition worsens, is usually worse in the morning when first getting out of bed, or after sitting for a while.  Typically, the person will awake in the morning and hobble across the room, but after a couple minutes of being on their feet, the pain dissipates and they feel OK, so off on another run they go.  However, damage continues as the condition progresses, the person may get to a point where there is no relief except when they are non-weight bearing.

Self-management of plantar fasciitis is PRICE: Protect, Rest, Ice, Compress, Elevate (which actually is a good idea for most overuse and tendinitis issues).  Stretching may also help.  For more severe cases, an individual may need foot adjustments from a properly trained chiropractor, therapeutic ultrasound, massage, laser therapy, and/or orthotics to reduce inflammation, improve elasticity of the tissues, and promote accelerated healing.  The cure is dependent on the extent of injury, the effectiveness of the above therapies, and ability to still be active without causing further injury.

I believe patient education is a must in these cases.  So if you or someone you know, is suffering from Plantar Fasciitis, call me and schedule immediately to be able to get back to full activity and exercise as soon as possible.  Don’t let pain stop you from staying fit and doing the things you love!