What is Plantar Fasciitis?
The plantar fascia is the flat band of tissue that connects your heel bone to your toes. It supports the arch of your foot. If you strain your plantar fascia, it gets weak, swollen, and irritated (inflamed). Then your heel or the bottom of your foot hurts when you stand or walk. Over-pronation results in a constant tugging of the aforementioned attachment site. Inflammation then results from this constant insult to the local tissues. When the patient is off-weight bearing, scar tissue begins to repair the site of injury. When the patient resumes weight-bearing, the scar tissue is torn resulting in acute pain. This explains why patients with this disorder typically experience the most pain when they get out of bed, or stand after a period of sitting.
Signs and Symptoms
The most common symptom of plantar fasciitis is pain at the bottom of the heel at the attachment point of the plantar fascia. It is usually described as a burning or stabbing pain, which may radiate along the bottom of the foot to the base of the toes. The pain is most severe in the morning upon getting out of bed. This is because the plantar fascia contracts overnight, and the pain will gradually decrease upon movement and stretching throughout the morning. The pain can be aggravated by long periods of standing or sitting, or by jogging, running, walking, and other forms of activity.
Why You Should Not Ignore The Pain Anymore
Acute plantar fasciitis may become chronic if ignored. It may also cause heel spurs to form on the bottom of the calcaneus, which are permanent and may have to be surgically removed. When a person is having significant pain in one foot, he or she will subconsciously change the way he or she is standing or walking to accommodate to the pain, which means putting more stress on other joints in attempt to take pressure off of the painful foot. When plantar fasciitis flares up, a person may experience knee, hip, or back problems due to changes in the biomechanics of walking or standing. This can cause long-term problems in other joints in the lower extremity and/or back.
How Can I Help?
A very effective method of treatment has been found to be A.R.T., Graston therapy, combined with Chiropractic adjustments along with heat and cryotherapy. Active Release Technique® (ART®) has been shown to be very effective in the treatment of Plantar Fasciitis. Rather than just addressing just one area, ART® restores unimpeded motion and function to all soft tissues. Graston therapy is a soft tissue technique aimed at breaking up scar tissue and adhesions to promote the rebuilding of scar tissue in the correct line of force to strengthen the muscle, increase flexibility and movement, and promote normal function of the soft tissue. Graston therapy incorporates the use of stainless steel tools that are used to detect and treat scar tissue within muscles, ligaments, tendons, fascia, and all other forms of soft tissue. By breaking up this poorly formed scar tissue and encouraging the body to form healthier and stronger scar tissue, the plantar fascia will be allowed to move properly and will no longer be irritated, inflamed, or painful. We will also show you exercises and stretches for you to do. Kinesio tape will also be applied over and around muscles in order to assist and give support or to prevent over contraction, affecting change in deeper layers of fascia by manipulating the skin and muscle and creating space underneath the skin.
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