Plantar fasciitis… to people outside of the medical world, the name itself gives very little away. But, while its title might be a mouthful, its symptoms are certainly a lot more familiar: stabbing pains, and burning, aching, and dull discomfort throughout the bottom of the foot are but some of it’s well known trademarks. Many people suffer from plantar fasciitis on a daily basis, yet its causes and treatment might surprise you. If you’re one of the millions of people worldwide who struggle to overcome this affliction, keep reading – we’re here to tell you everything there is to know!
First thing’s first: what is it? Well, it’s a condition characterized by inflammation in the plantar fascia, a ligament which connects your heel to the front of the foot. The plantar fascia is incredibly important in supporting the arch of your foot, and is thus equally vital in ensuring a strong, supported, even gait. Its position is such that it spreads across the foot in a tangled web, of sorts, and it’s inflammation can therefore cause pain and discomfort in an array of ways.
So, why do we experience this inflammation? Having an inflamed plantar fascia, that is, suffering from plantar fasciitis, can be the result of various endeavors in our lives. Some of the following might hit a little closer to home than others – take a look:
- Being Overweight – Obesity or excess weight can dramatically increase your chances of suffering from plantar fasciitis. Extra pounds add pressure to the joints and muscles in the feet, thereby placing stress on the plantar fascia ligaments. The prolonged stress of carrying excess weight causes the ligament to strain and become inflamed, thus leading to plantar fasciitis.
- Long Distance Running – The high-impact nature of running can be detrimental to the plantar fascia ligaments in your feet, and the constant pounding impact experienced by the joints, muscles, and plantar fascia as your connect with the tarmac eventually cause inflammation and resultant pain.
- Poor Footwear – Plantar Fasciitis can be caused by the use of improper footwear. Shoes that do not support the foot correctly can cause stress to be placed on the plantar fascia ligament. The result? You guessed it… inflammation.
- Tight/Overworked Muscles – Not paying enough attention to the mobility of your feet can often lead to stagnation, tightness, and inflammation. If your feet are not being moved, stretched, and kept supple, the plantar fascia practically seizes up, leaving you with inflammation and serious pain.
- Flat Feet – it may be that your plantar fascia has more to do with your physiology than any one action on your part. Oftentimes, flat feet, that is, a condition where the arch of the foot is collapsed and the entire foot almost touches the ground, can be the cause. In this case, the plantar fascia is being severely stressed, and the resultant inflammation is due to an inability to rectify the situation.
- High Arches – As with flat feet, having very high arches may also lead to issues. In this case, though, the plantar fasciitis is stressed in the opposite direction. Similarly, however, inflammation is the result.
Now that you’re aware of why you might be suffering from plantar fasciitis, it’s time to get to grips with what can be done about it. Firstly, leaving it to disappear on its own is a mistake: it won’t. In fact, it’s most likely to get a lot worse if left untreated. The decision to get treatment has to be made: once you do that, you’re well on your way to health.
And while it may seem as though this affliction is best overcome with the use of painkillers and surgery… that just isn’t true. In fact, plantar fasciitis is actually most effectively treated by a physical therapist. In fact, physical therapy is so effective in treating plantar fasciitis that, in most cases, patients are not only relieved of pain, but find that they are more active, more mobile, and more confident than ever before. Why, you might ask? Well, it’s because physical therapy finds the root cause of the problem, treats it accordingly, and gives you the tools to maintain your pain free life. But that’s really only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to what physical therapy can do to help you with plantar fasciitis – take a look below:
- Physical therapy identifies the real cause of your plantar fasciitis, thereby giving you real answers and real knowledge about your affliction.
- Physical therapy is hands-on, meaning you no longer have to take painkillers or be on bed-rest for days at a time. A dedicated, professional physical therapist is able to use specialized, targeted techniques to alleviate your pain and boost your healing process.
- Physical therapy will reduce the inflammation so that the plantar fascia can finally heal.
- Physical therapy will afford you the opportunity to alter your daily activities for the better – under the guidance of an expert physical therapist, you’ll learn the best, most effective ways for overcoming your pain, right now.
- Physical therapy guides you on your path to health by giving you expertly crafted, tailor-made exercises and stretches for you to do at home. This means that you can reach your goal of a pain-free life… and that you can MAINTAIN it.
- Physical therapists offer advice that can be life-changing. From the possibility of shoe inserts, to the exercises you can start doing outside of the physical therapy rooms, your physical therapist will guide you every step of the way.
- Physical therapy gives you what no other treatment can: care. A physical therapist will offer you support when you need it most.
At the end of the day, plantar fasciitis can steal your joy and rob you of mobility, family time, and cherished activities. There is hope, though, and by visiting a qualified, dedicated, hands-on physical therapist, you can finally get back to the pain-free life you deserve. Don’t wait for the pain to get any worse – make the decision to get help, right now.