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Plantar Fasciitis

Plantar Fasciitis is one of the most common causes of heel pain. Plantar Fasciitis involves inflammation of the plantar fascia which is a thick, web-like ligament that connects the heel to the front of the foot. The plantar fascia acts as a shock absorber and supports the arch of the foot, helping with movements such as walking. If tension and stress on this fascia become too great, small tears can occur. Repeated stretching and tearing can also irritate or inflame the fascia, causing heel pain and stiffness.⁣

⁣Typically, Plantar Fasciitis causes stabbing pain in the bottom of the foot near the heel. The pain is the worst in the first few steps after awakening although it can also be triggered by long periods of standing, getting up after sitting, or after exercising. This pain occurs because the plantar fascia shortens when the foot is at rest. Walking and standing for a short while usually elongates the plantar fascia, causing the heel pain to lessen or go away. Other factors such as the age of between 40 to 60 years old, foot mechanics (Flat Feet or high arch), and obesity can increase the risk of developing Plantar Fasciitis.⁣

Common symptoms of Plantar Fasciitis may include:

  • Pain at the bottom of the heel or bottom mid-foot area. It usually affects just one foot or sometimes both.
  • Dull, sharp, or burning ache on the bottom of the foot extending outward from the heel.
  • Pain worsens in the morning when you take your first steps out of bed, or if you have been sitting or lying down for a while.
  • Pain is usually felt after stopping an activity.

Physical therapy can help with Plantar Fasciitis. Treatment program will focus on decreasing pain and inflammation of the symptoms. Apart from manual therapy and Cryotherapy, kinesio taping of the foot may also be done to help provide short-term relief. As pain decreases, lifestyle recommendations and exercises to improve the flexibility of the ankle and plantar fascia will then be prescribed. Usage of a night splint and supportive footwear that minimizes foot pronation may be recommended if necessary. If in doubt, please seek professional advice.

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