Plantar Fasciitis: Symptoms and Treatment

Our feet are important because they take us where we want to go. Many of us spend a lot of time on our feet during the day. However, this puts the feet in a vulnerable position for injury. An injury to the foot can be detrimental to our function and disrupt every day life. In this post we want to discuss a common foot injury– plantar fasciitis. You may have heard the term before, but what is it?

Plantar fasciitis, plantar fascia, foot pain

The Plantar Fascia is located along the bottom of the foot. © Serdar Corbacı | Dreamstime.com

What is the Plantar Fascia?

The plantar fascia is a thick band of tissue that runs on the bottom of the foot from the heel to the ball of the foot. Plantar fasciitis is essentially inflammation and micro-tears of that connective tissues that cause pain and swelling.

What Causes Plantar Fasciitis?

There is no one specific cause to plantar fasciitis. Plantar fasciitis can be caused by both internal and external factors. For example, flat feet or high arches and poor biomechanics can all be intrinsic risk factors. Additionally, obesity, muscle weakness, limited range of motion, walking barefoot and/or poor footwear are all external factors.

Plantar fasciitis does not target one population or age group over another. Therefore, it can be present in thousands of  high level athletes, weekend warriors or those with sedentary lifestyles.  Generally, onset of plantar fasciitis is insidious. It can start a few weeks after starting a new activity or with a sudden change in activity.

Signs and Symptoms

One of the most common complaints with plantar fasciitis is pain in the heel/bottom of the foot. Heel pain is most noticeable with initial steps after a period of inactivity, but worsens with prolonged weight bearing. Additionally, there can be pain after walking or standing for too long as well.  A lot of times people will have pain when moving their toes and ankle.

Does Physical Therapy Help?

Plantar fasciitis is commonly treated in physical therapy with a series of stretches and strengthening exercises. In some cases, night splints and orthotics will help in worse cases. Surgery is an option for the most severe cases of plantar fasciitis.

Contact Us!

If your ankle is bothering you, you can check out more diagnoses here. You can also try some ankle special tests or check out some of our stretches on Instagram.

New Jersey has direct access that can get you in for evaluation without you having to see a doctor. In short, calling us directly can end up saving you both time and money!

Please, call us to schedule your evaluation at one of BeneFIT’s locations, Bridgewater (908.203.5200) or Chester (908.879.5700)  with one of our highly trained Doctors of Physical Therapy!