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All About Plantar Fasciitis

Foot Pain. Some of us never see it coming and it can be an extreme annoyance, especially when we need our feet for almost all activity besides binging Netflix -- and even then we need our feet for snack runs between episodes!

It can be very difficult trying to figure out what is wrong with our feet when we are having pain, but many people have seen or heard the term “Plantar Fasciitis” and after a quick Web MD search, can conclude that this may be what is wrong with them. If you think you might have Plantar Fasciitis, or someone has told you that you might, read below for some specific signs of this condition and ways that you can manage this pain! 

Symptoms of Plantar Fasciitis 

  • Diffuse pain and tightness along the bottom of your foot 

  • Pain may originate at bottom of your heel, stretch across the arch of your foot, and/or even reach to your big toe

  • Pain that is worse with the first steps of the day, but also may progressively worsen with 
    more walking

  • Sharp pain that feels as if you are stepping on needles 


Common Causes of Plantar Fasciitis 

  1. Sudden Increase in Activity Greater Than Your Usual 
    This is the most common cause of Plantar Fasciitis for most people. We decide to jump into a new form of exercise we are not used to, increase our running distance while preparing for a race, or even just going on a number of hikes on a vacation when our bodies are more accustomed to city walking. 

  2. Loading vs Capacity Imbalance 

    This is another common cause for Plantar Fasciitis and all injuries in general, which ties in with Common Cause #1. Explained simply, our body may not yet be ready to tolerate the amount of activity we are doing, so it responds by becoming inflamed and painful.

  3. Other Factors:

    Abnormal Gait Mechanics, Calf Tightness, Natural Foot Mechanics, New Pairs Of Shoes. These other factors can vary from person to person and while they may be a factor, most likely are not the underlying cause of the Plantar Fasciitis. This can be attested to that many people have 1 or even all of these factors and have no plantar fasciitis at all. 


What Do I Do If I Think I Have Plantar Fasciitis 

  • Identify The Aggravating Activity 

    What will benefit you most will be finding out what activity specifically caused your symptoms. What may be helpful would be to scale back the amount that you perform this activity, or find a similar activity that is less aggravating. Example: Running 5 miles causes foot pain, scale back to 2-3 miles or try cycling for cardio. 

  • Seek Out A Physical Therapist 

    As mentioned previously, it is often difficult to self-manage Plantar Fasciitis. While scaling back may help in decreasing symptoms, you are only letting your plantar fascia rest and not yet actually healing it! To do so, you will need specific exercises to build durability and progress back to doing 5 mile runs and even greater distances without pain. Click here to schedule an evaluation with one of our doctors today! 

  • Don’t Become Your Diagnosis 
    As it is often difficult to self manage Plantar Fasciitis, as Doctors of Physical Therapy, our goal would be to increase the capacity to tolerate these loads through very specific exercises and ultimately leave your body with a greater capacity to tolerate intensity! 

    Many times, people learn something is wrong and assume that they just have to live with it. Plantar fasciitis-related pain doesn’t have to be a permanent issue and can be successfully resolved with specifically prescribed and graded exercises. We can help point you in the right direction! Verify your benefits for physical therapy here!

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