The sole of your foot is covered by a fascia. This blankets the muscles of the sole of your foot, from front to back. This covering can be inflamed for various reasons. It is most commonly inflamed due to overuse, but can be irritated from an increase in the amount of walking, standing, and/or stair climbing. Runners are more susceptible to plantar fasciitis due to the amount of stress they put on their foot. This can be a result of a change in running surface, increase of mileage, and/or not changing running shoes.
Symptoms of Plantar Fasciitis:
- Pain in the morning when you first wake up and may then go away throughout the day.
- Chronic heel pain
Diagnosis of Plantar Fasciitis:
Your physician will evaluate your injury by taking a complete medical history, including mechanism of injury, prior injuries and symptoms. Your physician will perform a complete physical examination of the lower leg and foot.
Plantar Fasciitis Treatment:
- Ice use ice for 20 minutes on with 40 minutes off throughout the day.
- Take an anti-inflammatory or pain medication as prescribed by your physician.
- Orthotics may be suggested or adding a cushion for heel support.
- Try wearing sneakers instead of unsupportive shoes, specifically high heels in women.
- Stretch the foot.
Plantar Fasciitis Rehabilitation:
- Your physical therapist will work with you to stretch the plantar fascia and strengthen the lower leg muscles.
- Your physical therapist may also try a taping technique or may suggest a splint for the foot. These techniques would be used to take some stress off the heel and aid in stretching the plantar fascia.
Prevention of Plantar Fasciitis:
- Slowly acclimate to changes in your daily lifestyle, such as increments of standing for a long period of time.
- For any sport or new lifestyle change, slowly progress in distance.
- Runners may want to be aware of progression, acclimate to terrain changes, and change shoes after they are worn out.