The plantar fascia is connective tissue located on the sole of the foot. It spans from the heel to the ball of the foot, supporting the arch. Plantarfasciitis is inflammation of this connective tissue. Often the cause is an unbalanced gait. The condition is aggravated by excessive weight, overuse, bad shoes, flat or pronate feet, and tight calf or hip muscles. Pain is usually first experienced when getting up in the morning and beginning activity. The pain may decrease with activities such as walking or running because the plantar fascia is stretched out, but it will reappear after resting and resuming activity. Pain is often in the heel, forcing one to walk on the outside of the foot or limp. Often it is more painful to walk barefoot.
Physical Therapy Treatment Plan: After careful evaluation by the physical therapist, the first step in treating this condition is reduce pain and inflammation. Therapy may include strengthening exercises, joint manipulation to make sure all the bones are moving optimally, stretching, and posture rebalancing. Modalities may also include heat, ice, light therapy, and ultrasound.
After your initial prescription for physical therapy is completed, your physician and physical therapist will decide if you need to continue physical therapy or if you will be discharged to a home exercise program.
This information is provided as a learning resource for the benefit of our patients. It is NOT INTENDED to replace personal consultation with your medical professionals.