Star Physical Therapy

Plantar Fasciitis

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The plantar fascia is a thick band of tissue attached to the heel bone. It supports the arch of the foot. Plantar fasciitis is inflammation of this plantar fascia.
It causes pain in the heel of the foot. Treatment depends on the severity of the condition.

Plantar-Fasciitis

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Plantar fasciitis is caused by small, repetitive trauma to the plantar fascia. This trauma can be due to activity that puts extra stress on the foot.

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Plantar fasciitis is most common in people who are 40-60 years old. Other risk factors that increase your chance of getting plantar fasciitis include:

  • Physical exertion, especially in sports such as:
    • Running
    • Volleyball
    • Tennis
  • A sudden increase in exercise intensity or duration
  • Physical activity that stresses the plantar fascia
  • People who spend a lot of time standing
  • A sudden increase in activities that affect the feet
  • Obesity or weight gain
  • Pre-existing foot problems, including an abnormally tight Achilles tendon, flat feet, or an ankle that rolls inward too much
  • Poor footwear
  • Heel spurs

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Symptoms of plantar fasciitis may start gradually or happen suddenly. They include:

  • Pain on the sole of the foot near the heel
  • Heel pain when taking the first steps in the morning
  • Tenderness when touching the sole or heel
  • Pain that increases over a period of months

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The doctor will ask about your symptoms and medical history. A foot exam will be done. This will usually make the diagnosis. Imaging studies of the foot may be done to help rule out stress fractures or other bone abnormalities. These include:

  • MRI scan
  • Ultrasound

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If you are diagnosed with plantar fasciitis, physical therapy can help you resolve your pain. Physical therapy treatment may include:

  • Stretching the Achilles tendon/plantar fascia structures
  • Taping to the heel and arch
  • Cross-friction massage/soft tissue and joint mobilization
  • Ultrasound, iontophoresis, moist heat, cryotherapy and electrical stimulation
  • Patient education and instruction in home exercise program
  • Custom orthotics
  • Weight loss goals

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To reduce your risk of getting plantar fasciitis, take these steps:

  • Wear appropriate and well-fitted footwear during sports and exercise.
  • Do stretching exercises for the Achilles tendon and plantar fascia.
  • Increase the intensity and duration of exercise gradually.
  • Maintain an appropriate weight.

This content was created using EBSCO’s Health Library

This content was created using EBSCO’s Health Library
RESOURCES:
  • American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation

http://www.aapmr.org

  • OrthoInfo.org—American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons

http://orthoinfo.org

CANADIAN RESOURCES:
  • Ontario Podiatric Medical Association

http://www.opma.ca

  • Orthogate

http://www.orthogate.org

REFERENCES:
  • Plantar fasciitis. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at:  http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed Updated November 2, 2012. Accessed February 18, 2014.
  • Plantar fasciitis. Focus on the basics. Mayo Clin Health Lett. 2012;30(8):7.
  • Plantar fasciitis and bone spurs. American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons website. Available at: http://orthoinfo.aaos.org/topic.cfm?topic=A00149 Updated June 2010. Accessed November 19, 2012.
  • Pommering TL. Ankle and foot injuries in pediatric and adult athletes. Prim Care. 2005;32:133-161.
  • 6/5/2009 DynaMed’s Systematic Literature Surveillance  http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed: Baldassin V, Gomes CR, et al. Effectiveness of prefabricated and customized foot orthoses made from low-cost foam for noncomplicated plantar fasciitis: a randomized controlled trial. Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 2009;90:701-706.
  • 4/24/2014 DynaMed’s Systematic Literature Surveillance  http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed: Wise JN, Weissman BN, et al. American College of Radiology (ACR) Appropriateness Criteria for chronic foot pain. Available at: http://www.acr.org/~/media/ACR/Documents/AppCriteria/Diagnostic/ChronicFootPain.pdf. Updated 2013. Accessed April 24, 2014.

This content was created using EBSCO’s Health Library