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Plantar Fasciitis

Plantar Fasciitis is a common foot condition that can cause pain and discomfort in the heel and arch area. The plantar fascia is a thick band of tissue that runs along the bottom of the foot, stretching from the heel to the toes. Plantar fasciitis occurs when small tears develop in this tissue leading to inflammation. Some common symptoms of this condition include pain in the heel and along the bottom of the foot, stiffness in the foot, and difficulty walking or standing for long periods of time.

typical causes:

What triggers this inflammation? Some of the common culprits of plantar fasciitis include overuse, tight calf muscles, limited ankle and foot mobility, obesity, high arches, and flat feet. Activities such as running, jumping, and dancing can also strain the plantar fascia and lead to plantar fasciitis. While the exact cause may vary from person to person, understanding these risk factors can help prevent this painful condition from sidelining you.

how physical therapy can help:

Physical therapy can help alleviate the symptoms of plantar fasciitis. A physical therapist can create a tailored treatment plan that addresses the underlying issues causing the pain. This may include exercises to stretch the calf muscles, strengthening muscles in the lower extremities, soft tissue techniques to desensitize the plantar fascia, ankle and foot joint mobilizations, and gait training exercises. Additionally, a physical therapist can provide guidance on proper footwear and education to avoid exacerbating the condition. By working with a physical therapist, individuals with plantar fasciitis can see significant improvements in their symptoms and overall quality of life.

Ready to get moving? Contact us today to schedule an assessment.

exercises and recommendations that may help reduce pain:

If you experience more pain with these exercises, hold off from that particular movement.

Gastroc Lunge Stretch – Stand facing a wall and step one foot back, keeping your heel on the ground. Your other foot should be about a foot away from the wall. While keeping your hands on the wall for support, move your hips forward until you feel a stretch in the calf muscle of your back leg. Hold the stretch for 2-3 minutes, then switch legs and repeat on the other side. Repeat this stretch 1-3 times per day.

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Half Kneeling Soleus Stretch – Begin by kneeling on one knee with your other leg bent in front of you, foot flat on the ground. Slowly move the knee of your lead leg forward over the foot until you feel a stretch in the back of your calf. Hold the stretch for 2-3 minutes before releasing, then switch sides and repeat. Perform this stretch 1-3 times per day.

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Plantar Fasciitis Tennis Ball Roll – Sit in a chair with your affected foot on top of a tennis ball. Slowly roll the ball along the bottom of the foot, paying particular attention to the arch and the heel. Note: this can be uncomfortable initially. Start light with your pressure if needed. As you progress, you can gradually increase the pressure as tolerated. Try to perform this for 1-2 minutes. Feel free to do this a few times a day if you find it helpful.  

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Heel Raise from Step – Begin by standing on the edge of a raised platform or step with your heels hanging off the edge. Slowly raise your heels as high as you can go. From this position, slowly lower back down to the starting position. Perform this movement 10-15 times, 2-3 times per day. 

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