Heel pain and Plantar Fasciitis can be one of the most frustrating problems a person can experience!
Plantar fasciitis can limit pleasurable activities such as walking, running, standing while baking in the kitchen, and generally enjoying life. The most common complaints with plantar fasciitis include heel pain (sometimes worse in the morning), foot pain, arch pain, and pain in the balls of the feet.
In this article we hope to teach you more about the foot, and how we specialize in and treat heel pain and plantar fasciitis from our physical therapy clinic in Wichita, KS.
What Is Plantar Fascia?
The foot contains 26 bones, 33 joints, and over 100 tendons, muscles, and ligaments. This may sound like overkill for a flat structure that supports your weight, but you may not realize how much work your foot does!
The plantar fascia is the connective tissue on the sole of our foot that connects the heel to the toes, and helps to support our foot and arch.
It is designed to allow the foot to balance the body’s weight on one or two legs and support such diverse actions as running, jumping, climbing, and walking.
Because they are so complicated, human feet can be especially prone to injury. Strains, sprains, tendonitis, torn ligaments, broken bones, fallen arches, bunions, plantar fasciitis and Achilles issues can all occur.
We specialize in seeing all of the above in our office in patients from 5 to 105 years old. And the good news is: there is HOPE. With the proper diagnosis and with advanced treatment options, we help people return to doing what they love.
What Is Plantar Fasciitis?
One of the most common things we see is plantar fasciitis. Plantar fasciitis is the inflammation of the plantar fascia, tissue in the foot used during walking and foot movement.
It is a common injury that effects many people and is commonly seen among walkers, runners, triathletes, and other running athletes. Sports stars including Eli Manning and Kobe Bryant have battled with this condition. Even non-athletes can fall prey to plantar fasciitis.
It is common for us to see people from all "walks" of life with plantar fasciitis!
What Causes Plantar Fasciitis?
There are several common causes of plantar fasciitis including your choice of footwear, and your foot structure (such as having low arches in your feet).
Your footwear can play a major role in plantar fasciitis, by placing unnecessary pressure on your heel, or the ball of your foot.
Another reason plantar fasciitis flares up is when people take on a new, or more challenging walking or running program, and take on too much, too soon.
We understand that this is very frustrating, especially when you are trying to build up new exercise habits to get healthier, feel fitter or lose weight.
Finally, some of medical conditions can also increase the likelihood and severity of plantar fasciitis such as Lupus and Arthritis.
What Are The Symptoms Of Plantar Fasciitis?
One of the main symptoms of plantar fasciitis is heel pain.
This pain can be a sudden, sharp pain which might strike after jumping, or running on a hard surface. Your heel can hurt more when you are barefoot, or wearing footwear with little support for your sole.
Heel pain can also flare up gradually over time, and you may notice that your heel pain is worse on a morning, or after other periods of inactivity.
What Not To Do With Plantar Fasciitis
Fortunately, there are ways to treat plantar fasciitis, and relieve heel pain.
What not to do with plantar fasciitis is to wait.
The best advice is to seek medical help when heel pain starts, as the quicker treatment starts, the quicker recovery time usually is.
By not taking action, other common mistakes with plantar fasciitis happen - you continue to wear the wrong, unsupportive footwear. You don't correct any problems with your feet. And you don't learn the root cause of your heel pain, and how you can adjust your lifestyle to avoid this happening in future.
The Best Treatment For Plantar Fasciitis
To treat plantar fasciitis, there are natural, and extremely effective options that our team can help with.
Stretching To End Heel Pain
Stretching is a safe, and proven treatment for plantar fasciitis, and can help end your niggling heel pain.
Stretching the plantar fascia and the Achilles tendon will help to relieve foot, ankle and heel pain.
With our team, you can learn a personalised stretching routine that you can repeat by yourself several times a day. In combination with stretching, you can discover exercises which strengthen your lower leg muscles, which in turn, helps to stabilize your ankle and give you better foot health overall.
Drug-Free Way To Relieve Heel Pain
As well as fixing the root cause of the problem, using ice therapy can help provide temporary heel pain relief without relying on painkillers.
Applying an ice pack to the painful area for up to 20 minutes, several times a day, can help you manage any soreness.
Orthotic Shoe Insoles To Support your Feet
Earlier we talked about how your footwear can lead to plantar fasciitis and heel pain, and a really simple way to fix this is orthotic shoe insoles.
Orthotics are another medication-free way to reduce foot, ankle and heel pain so a popular choice for many who visit our Wichita clinic.
Orthotics are a device that sits underneath your foot, inside your footwear. This helps to correct imbalances such as a low arch, and provide support to areas that are struggling to cope.
By doing this, orthotics can take the pressure of your plantar fascia, and reduce painful inflammation.
What If I Had Treatment For Plantar Fasciitis Before And It Didn't Work
It is quite common for us to see patients with this painful condition that have failed other treatments.
In fact, many of our most successful clients have seen poor success with other healthcare providers and eventually came to see us here on the advice of a friend or family member. Even if you have suffered for months or years, consider coming in to see us and get evaluated.
Treatment here at Bodyworx includes listening to your story regarding what has happened, evaluating anatomical structures from the toes, mid foot, ankle, calf, knee, and up into the hip.
We then educate the patient on what is going on and why it’s happening so they can understand the mechanism that may have caused the injury.
Sometimes patients walk out with 50% less pain in their foot than when they walked in. They are elated regarding the progress. We then empower you with specific things to do at home to put you in control of the pain instead of the pain controlling you.
Wondering what could be causing your foot pain? We put together this Plantar Fasciitis and Foot Pain presentation especially for you:
Find Out More About Treatment For Heel Pain And Plantar Fasciitis
If you are struggling with any foot, ankle, or lower leg issues, feel free to schedule a free phone consult, or contact us to arrange a free discovery visit. You can also feel free to give us a call at 316.558.8808 (We still like to talk on the phone!)
We also have many more foot pain and running related videos on our YouTube channel.
Don’t let leg or foot pain keep you from returning to what you love to do! Walking, running, and playing with the kids is still possible. You just need to know where to start!
We love to keep people in Wichita, Andover, Derby, and Maize (as well as the surrounding areas in Kansas) mobile, active, and off pain pills - let our expertise go to work for you to help you return to the activities you love.
Until next time,
Cody Barnett PT
Other Free Resources To Help Reduce Heel Pain
Read Our Blog - Choosing the Right Shoes To Prevent Plantar Fasciitis
Read Our Blog - Arthritis And Cold Laser Therapy