The classic symptom of plantar fasciitis is a sharp pain near the heel that extends along the inside, bottom of the foot. The pain is typically worse when waking up in the morning, especially with the first few steps out of bed. It typically only affects one foot, but can affect both feet simultaneously.
Plantar fasciitis can be caused by prolonged walking or running, especially amongst individuals with improper foot biomechanics, such as overpronation (flat feet) or oversupination (high arches). Increased stress placed on the foot as a result of poor support from footwear, obesity, and tight calf muscles can also lead to the development of plantar fasciitis. Improper footwear includes wearing flip flops, moccasin-like boots or walking on hard surfaces barefoot.
The plantar fascia is a band of tough, ligamentous tissue that runs along the bottom, inside of the foot and connects the heel bone to the toes. This tissue supports the arch of the foot. When this tissue becomes inflamed or irritated due to excess force, it causes the pain typically associated with plantar fasciitis. Improper foot biomechanics during walking or running motions can cause the inflammation in plantar fasciitis. Overpronation (flat feet) during walking or running can have an overstretching effect on the plantar fascia. This stretching over time can lead to the inflammation and pain common in plantar fasciitis. Oversupination (high arches) causes the foot to be rigid during stride. Forces that are absorbed by movement of the foot bones in a biomechanically correct stride cannot be absorbed by the oversupinated foot. These forces are transmitted to the plantar fascia, which causes inflammation.
Aligned Medical Group’s Approach
Plantar fasciitis can be a stubborn, persistent condition and early intervention is key to achieving fast relief. For more chronic cases, we recommend injections to clear inflammation, which allows us to treat more intensely and offer faster pain reduction. Our treatment of choice is Graston Technique, which smooths and stretches the plantar fascia, enabling it to tolerate stress and heal. We couple stretching and rehabilitative exercise to correct dysfunctions, such as weak muscles or overly tight muscles and ligaments. Proper footwear and daily activities are discussed and we often prescribe splints to wear, which help to lengthen the fascia when you are at rest. If pes planus (flat feet) or ankle eversion (tilted ankles) contributed to your condition, we may prescribe custom orthotics to support weak ankles and improve your performance in sports. If suffering with plantar fasciitis, please bring your common footwear to your appointment for us to evaluate.