Foot Conditions

Plantar Fasciitis

One common cause of pain on the bottom of the heel is plantar fasciitis. Plantar fasciitis occurs when the strong band of tissue that supports the arch of your foot becomes irritated and inflamed. Our feet are designed to absorb the high stresses and strains we place on our feet but, sometimes, too much pressure can damage or create small tears/strain the tissues. This can occur due to weakness of foot musculature, improper footwear, an increase in static standing or a sudden increase in activities that involve inclined walking or jumping.

The plantar fascia is a long, thin ligament that lies directly beneath the skin on the bottom of your foot. It connects the heel to the front of your foot, and supports the arch of your foot.

Common symptoms of plantar fasciitis include:

  • Pain on the bottom of the foot near the heel
  • Pain with the first few steps after getting out of bed in the morning, or after a long period of sitting without weight upon the foot. The pain subsides after a few minutes of walking.
  • Pain that is greater after, but often not during, exercise or activity
    Conservative care as offered through physical therapy includes:
  • Calf and foot stretches
  • Correct conditioning techniques to aid an improvement in foot musculature strength to support the arch of the foot
  • Knowledge of proper night time splinting/positioning
  • Use of specialized modalities to decrease pain and reduce inflammation

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