Derik Elmore, PT, DPT, OCS, COMT
Plantar fasciitis is an orthopedic condition that affects the foot. The condition is the result of degenerative irritation and primarily starts at the heel and can progress towards the front of the foot. The fascia also blends with the Achilles tendon, intrinsic foot musculature, and subcutaneous tissue.
How Does It Function:
The plantar fascia has many important roles: arch support, shock absorption during standing, walking, and running, and contribution to normal biomechanics of the foot. We create tension through the plantar fascia when we are in a standing or weight bearing position. The tension created in the plantar fascia adds stability to the loaded foot.
This condition is often caused by overuse and repetitive strain that causes micro-tears in the tissue. There are several risk factors that contribute to plantar heel pain that we should be on the lookout for as clinicians.
Signs and Symptoms of Plantar Fasciitis:
Plantar fasciitis is a clinical diagnosis that is based on patient history and physical exam. A comprehensive exam of bilateral lower extremities should be performed by your physical therapist. It should include assessment of the feet/ankles, knees, and hips.
Symptoms May Include:
This condition can be managed conservatively which can serve to be very beneficial in treating plantar fasciitis. Medical treatment should include: rest from activities that aggravate, ice, NSAIDs, shoe inserts, proper stretching with a home exercise program of the gastrocnemius, soleus, and plantar fascia.
Role of Physical Therapy
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