What is plantar fasciitis?
Plantar fasciitis is inflammation of the band of connective tissue, known as the plantar fascia, on the bottom of your foot. Sometimes called “policeman’s heel”, it often shows up as sharp pains on or near your heel. Plantar fasciitis, and its associated pain, is especially common in the morning.
Fascia is a type of tissue that connects different parts of your body. It’s similar in function to ligaments and tendons which attach bones and muscles to each other. The plantar fascia is specifically responsible for connecting your heel to your toes.
What causes plantar fasciitis?
Plantar fasciitis can have many causes. Some of these might be temporary while others may require lifestyle changes to resolve. The technical cause of plantar fasciitis is tension or stretching of the plantar fascia on the bottom of the foot. This activity generates micro-tears in the fascia. As the body works to heal these tears, inflammation occurs. Pain produced by this inflammation makes you aware that something isn’t quite right.
Frequent runners, people who work on their feet, and even people who wear shoes without proper support can develop plantar fasciitis. Unusual stress on the foot, like wearing a new pair of shoes, may also be a cause. Even something like starting a new job that requires an increase in physical activity can lead to plantar fasciitis. People who are overweight or experience an increase in weight, perhaps during pregnancy, might also develop plantar fasciitis.
Does plantar fasciitis get worse with time?
Untreated plantar fasciitis can lead to additional problems. The inflammation and heel pain may cause you to walk differently. A change in gait, another term for how you walk, can create hip pain, back pain, and even neck pain. These secondary issues may hide the plantar fasciitis.
Plantar fasciitis can lead to other foot problems too. Heel spurs, or bone spurs found in the heel, could result from extended bouts of plantar fasciitis. Sometimes heel spurs can require surgery, so it’s best to resolve the issue before it leads to other problems.
It is possible, however, that plantar fasciitis resolves with time. A woman who develops plantar fasciitis during pregnancy may find it resolving after the baby is born, even without direct treatment for the plantar fasciitis.
How is plantar fasciitis treated?
Like many chronic ailments, the first step is finding and resolving the root cause while treating the symptoms. If the cause is identifiable and easily remedied, then treatment is relatively straightforward. By taking the steps to resolve the root cause such as buying more supportive shoes, starting a stretching regimen, or reducing your weight, you’ll be well on your way to feeling better.
Since your body needs time to heal, you can take the doctor’s recommended steps to manage the symptoms during the meantime. Steps like making sure you’re getting plenty of rest and using ice to reduce inflammation are ways to manage the pain and reduce the time it takes to heal.
Sometimes the plantar fasciitis isn’t the first problem identified. If you’re experiencing back pain caused by plantar fasciitis, then additional work may be needed. You may first seek relief for the back pain, but while undergoing treatment, it’s discovered that you’re also experiencing plantar fasciitis. The treatment would then focus on reducing the back and foot pain while handling the root cause of the problem.
Seeking the help of a medical professional allows you to get an informed answer about what the cause could be and how it should be treated.
What is Dr. Inman’s approach to plantar fasciitis treatment?
Dr. Inman takes a holistic view of your health; this is especially important when it comes to plantar fasciitis. As mentioned, plantar fasciitis can have several causes and just as many steps for treatment. If all the causes aren’t acknowledged, the problem could persist.
Dr. Inman’s experience as a chiropractor and applied kinesiologist gives her the tools to assess the root cause of the issue and plan a treatment that will help you get better as quickly as possible. Often treatment takes the form of one or more of the following:
Adjustments to the feet, ankles, knees, and spine to achieve proper alignment
Use of a percussion device to release the fascia
Wearing custom orthotic shoe inserts to maintain proper alignment
Lifestyle changes such as: reducing sugar intake, increase consumption of anti-inflammatory foods, increasing water intake, and/or changing your sleeping position
This information provided here is for informational purposes only. If you’re experiencing a medical issue, please seek out a proper diagnosis from a medical professional. Having the correct diagnosis can save you time and money and get you feeling better sooner.