plantar fasciitis illustrated in a photo

How Can You Treat Plantar Fasciitis?

Plantar fasciitis is one of the most common causes of heel pain. It is caused by inflammation in the tissue that connects the base of your toes to your heel bone. Repetitive stretching and tearing can cause the fascia to become irritated or inflamed. The fascia provides proper support for the arch of the foot and shock absorption. The fascia is under a constant stretch in a low arch foot and under constant tension in a high arch foot. It is most painful in the morning after waking up, where it causes a stabbing pain that occurs when you take your first steps. As you get up and move more the pain decreases but it may return after long periods of standing or after rising from sitting. When you are not on your feet, scar tissue begins to repair the injury. But when you get back on our feet after being seated or wake up in the morning the newly formed scar tissue is re-torn resulting in acute pain.

Symptoms of plantar fasciitis:

  • Stabbing pain
  • Burning sensation on the bottom of the foot extending outward from the heel
  • Pain after a long period of rest
  • Pain when bending the foot and toes up towards the shin
  • Pain typically develops slowly overtime and it can occur at random times.
  • One or both feet can be expected
  • Pain can be accompanied by swelling
  • Patients will often present with a history of progressive pain
  • Pain at the bottom of the foot, mid-foot area, the inferior and medial heel
  • Pain decreases with increase of activity, but often gradually increases when activity increases
  • Experience palpating sensation on the heel bone
  • General stiffness in the area
  • Tenderness on the bottom of the foot
  • Difficulty in weight-bearing activities such as walking or climbing stairs

Plantar fasciitis appears in runners, dancers, people participating in sports, older adults between the ages of 40 and 60 and individuals with risk factors such as obesity, prolonged standing, wearing inadequate shoes with thin soles or high heels, weight-bearing jobs and individuals with flat feet, high arches or abnormal walking patterns. It can also be caused by certain diseases including reactive arthritis, tarsal tunnel syndrome and ankylosing spondylitis.

Plantar fasciitis normally goes away on its own after a few months. Resting and taking over the counter pain medication can help reduce swelling and make you more comfortable. If you are not seeing results, these different types of treatments can help to ease the pain.They are:

Massage– can help relieve pain by relieving the inflammation, promoting healing from muscle tears and strengthening or improving flexibility in the area. Deep tissue massage can help release the muscle tension, break up scar tissue and lead to its elimination. Massage will also help remove toxins from the muscles and allow proper circulation of both blood and oxygen to return to the area breaking down adhesions and lessening strain. Soreness will be felt after the massage but the results can be felt within just a couple of days.

Osteopathy– treatment techniques will be applied to muscles in the foot that are associated with the problem, which can help healing. The treatments used will be aimed to reduce discomfort but if the problem persists, a more integrated approach may be required. The key to treatment is to remove the strain on the plantar fascia. Treating the body as a functional unit, osteopathic treatment aims to address the structural alignment and biomechanics of the whole body with emphasis on the myofascial chains normalization. You will also be taught how to do rehabilitation exercises or stretches through to complete recovery and help to prevent re-occurrence.

Acupuncture– insertion of needles causes a local effect on nerve endings by releasing neuropeptides that help eliminate pain.  This helps to reduce or relieve pain and improve function. Acupuncture sends a signal to the brain to stop inflammation and swelling and to begin the recuperation process.

Reflexology– stretches and pressure point techniques relieves heel pain caused by plantar fasciitis. Ligaments and muscles of the foot are relaxed and loosened, in addition to the calf muscles. The entire lower leg and foot experiences increased circulation, muscle relief and improved flexibility.

If you are struggling with Plantar fasciitis, please contact Ultimate Health Clinic at (905) 251-0162 to let us help you.

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