There are several treatment options for Plantar Fasciitis
Plantar fasciitis is inflammation of the tissue on the bottom of the foot.
Fascia is a type of connective tissue that surrounds the muscles. It allows muscles to slide smoothly over each other when we move. Inflammation is the body's natural response to injury, illness, or stress.
The plantar fascia extends from the medial aspect of the calcaneous (heel) to the base of the toes. It consists of several different types of bands with different insertion points, but they serve similar functions and are generally just called the plantar fascia.
The plantar fascia provides structural reinforcement for the foot by maintaining its arch. Healthy fascia remains elastic enough to allow your foot to move through its normal range of motion.
Irritation to the fascia occurs in several different ways. Over-exercising, trauma to the foot, standing on your feet too long without rest periods, having a heel spur, being overweight, and wearing poor-fitting footwear can all inflame the plantar fascia. Being "flat-footed," or over-pronation, can also be a contributing factor.
Most often, the primary symptom is pain located at the center of the heel (although the pain can present almost anywhere on the sole of the foot). This pain tends to be worse in the mornings, during the first steps taken. The pain usually increases after long periods of walking or running as well.
Treatment options vary from person to person, depending on the cause. One of the first recommendations we make at the office is to use a night splint. During sleep, the feet normally point downward, allowing the plantar fascia to contract, or shorten. Night splints prevent this contraction by keeping the ankle and foot angled straight throughout the night.
Custom orthotics may be prescribed for over-pronation. However, we have found that over-the-counter supports, such as those made by Spenco, work well. Heel-pad supports can be added to the shoes for extra comfort throughout the day.
Ultrasound therapy can help reduce inflammation. Deep tissue and cross friction massages release scar tissue, break up fibrous adhesions, increase blood flow and speed up the healing process. Specific stretches and exercises can be performed to improve the condition. As the symptoms resolve, rehabilitation progresses toward more functional activities, such as walking and running.
If you would like more information, feel free to call 304-757-7246 or stop by the office. Consultations are always free. You can also email me at Lmerritt@doctormerrittchiro.com
Yours in Health, Dr. Levi G. Merritt, D.C.
Dr. Levi G. Merritt recently opened Merritt Chiropractic at 100 Erskine Lane in Scott Depot. He will write about health and fitness matters for The Putnam Herald. He can be reached at 304-757-7246 or Lmerritt@doctormerrittchiro.com.
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