If you are looking for plantar fasciitis treatment in Charleston, Goose Creek, or Mount Pleasant, the information below will help you make a better decision, as well as help you avoid unnecessary and expensive healthcare treatment !!!!
“I feel a knife in the heel of my foot when I first wake up”. This dreaded sentence is heard by physical therapists all over the world and is even more commonly heard at the beginning of the year or when the weather starts to get warmer. I speak of course about plantar fasciitis (PLAN-tur fas-e-I-tis). A diagnosis that is not often pronounced correctly but is very often seen in our physical therapy clinic. We see it at the beginning of the year and when it gets warm because that is when people start to increase walking and/or running for exercise.
What is Plantar Fasciitis and What Causes It
The plantar fascia is a thick band of tissue that runs along the bottom of your foot. It starts at your heel and will branch off to each toe. Plantar fasciitis is an inflammation and irritation usually caused by excessive stretching or small tears in that thick tissue. This happens when the tissue is tight or restricted but is then forced to expand or splay out with weight bearing. Picture the plantar fascia like a parachute when the foot is pointed down and then fully stretched out and straight when the foot is pointed up. If your foot is constantly pointing down (e.g., tight calves, wearing high heels, or sitting with your feet dangling in a chair) then the plantar fascia is always shortened in that parachute state. Then a person stands up with shortened fascia and the tissue is forced to stretch quickly. This is why the most common symptom people will experience is the previously mentioned stabbing pain when people get up from sitting or lying down for prolonged periods.
Causes of plantar fasciitis include:
- A rapid increase in physical activity
- Repetitive motions like distance running
- Limited flexibility of the gastrocnemius and soleus muscles (your calf muscles),
- Poor arch support and/or excessive foot pronation
- Overweight patients are also more likely to develop plantar fasciitis
- Occupations that require prolonged standing
Usually when we see a patient with these symptoms, they have been present for a year or more and it is now a chronic problem. It is unclear why people with foot pain feel it is alright to deal with this for so long, but please understand when a condition becomes chronic it takes much longer to treat. Clinically, the most common signs we see are tenderness to touch at the bottom of your heel, limited range of motion at your ankle and big toe, and often poor shoes. Luckily, when you know what to look for to recognize plantar fasciitis you then have a path to treating it.
Physical Therapy First is Proven to Help
There are a numerous options for the treatment of plantar fasciitis. We are strong believers of natural, conservative, hands-on treatment and clinical research support our view:
The guidelines present evidence that strongly suggests a combination of manual therapy and rehabilitative exercises to help patients with this foot condition. In a study published in the February 2017 issue of JOSPT, researchers reviewed the records of people with plantar fasciitis who were sent to physical therapy. The results of this study support prior studies that show faster recovery time for those who receive evidence-based physical therapy for their foot pain.
Treating plantar fasciitis is not often completed in a straight line. There are hills and valleys to recovery which can be frustrating. Despite this, research has shown that there are proven strategies that will help to take away your pain. At the top of this list- STRETCH YOUR CALVES. Improving calf muscle tightness will improve your ability to point your foot up and will consequently decrease the time your plantar fascia is shortened. If you do nothing else…STRETCH YOUR CALVES. After that there are many other things that can be done. For many a night sock or night splint can be helpful. These splints help to keep your foot in neutral or pointed up while you are sleeping. This helps to avoid the prolonged shortening of the plantar fascia and will thereby decrease the symptoms experienced when your plantar fascia is stretched upon getting up out of bed.
What to Do First – See One of Our Plantar Fasciitis Experts in the Charleston, Goose Creek, and Mount Pleasant areas
In addition, from activities you can do at home there IS value in seeking consultation from a physical therapist. As movement specialists we can identify the source of your issues. Our treatment plan will often include hands on care to improve mobility at the foot and big toe, taping to unload the plantar fascia, ensuring that you are in the proper shoes, and prescribing exercises specific to your issues.
ADVANTAGES OF SEEING A PHYSICAL THERAPIST FIRST INCLUDES:
- No waiting – In most cases, you can see us right away.
- No side effects – In most cases, the treatment we provide has little to no side effects and can make you feel much better
- It’s more affordable – an average course of treatment
- Seeing one of our physical therapists within 14 days means you’re not likely to need additional care, special tests, injections or surgery
- Seeing one of our physical therapists first means you are less likely to need addictive opioid drugs
How Will Your Plantar Fasciitis Specialist in Charleston, Goose Creek, and Mount Pleasant Treat This Condition?
Your treatment plan depends on what we learn during your initial evaluation but often includes the following:
- Slight changes to your daily activities
- Education to avoid aggravating activities
- Hands-on soft tissue and mobilization techniques, and
- A home exercise program
Plantar fasciitis can be a real pain in the neck, or at least the foot, but it is not something you have to deal with forever. If you are experiencing that stabbing heel pain when you get up in the morning, please call us at (843) 793-4466 or find us at https://www.jimptw.com/contactus/. We look forward to helping in any way we can
Adam Smith, PT, OCS
Joints In Motion Physical Therapy and Wellness