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Plantar Fascitis

Typical History:

Pain in the sole of the foot which is often worst in the morning and after prolonged activity such as walking.

Anatomy of Plantar Fascitis:

The plantar fascia is a band of tissue on the bottom of the foot that assists in keeping the foot stable so the foot can act as a solid platform to push off while walking. When this band of tissue becomes inflamed it is called plantar fascitis. The inflammation leads to small scar tissue fibers forming in the plantar fascia. When these fibers break due to walking the result is inflammation which results in more scar tissue forming. Thus, a chronic cycle of pain is created.

Symptoms of Plantar Fascitis:

People suffering from plantar fascitis describe significant pain in the sole of the foot that is often worst near the heel. Frequently the pain is worst in the morning and for the first few steps after a long rest. This occurs because with each step the person breaks a few of the scar tissue fibers that formed during the sleep/rest period. As the bands break the person experiences pain. Often the pain will subside to a dull ache or no pain at all after a few steps. This is what is called the “short gelling period” of plantar fascitis. It occurs because as the person walks the plantar fascia loosens due to more and more of the scar tissue fibers breaking and the pain subsides. The major problem is that each time the person takes a step and breaks a few of the scar tissue fibers more irritation and inflammation occurs which during rest leads to more scar tissue fibers forming.

Factors That May Contribute to Plantar Fascitis:

Abnormal mechanics of the foot is the most common cause. Many people have fallen arches (pesplanus) or very high arches (pescavus). Both conditions alter the manner in which the foot must operate and place greater stress on numerous structures in the foot.

Physical Exam:

Your doctor will perform a series of tests which are designed to test for plantar fascitis. A tender spot on the sole of the foot near the heel is an obvious sign of the condition.

Treatment:

The Action Chiropractic & Sport Therapy clinic has developed a highly effective protocol for treating plantar fascitis which achieves very rapid results. The protocol consists utilizes Active Release Techniques to effectively break down scar tissue in the plantar fascia. Ultrasound is included each visit to reduce irritation and further break down the scar tissue. The patient is also instructed in home care techniques to relieve tension on the plantar fascia. The final stage is the prevention phase in which the patient is referred for custom orthotics to minimize the likelihood of the condition returning.

Prognosis with Treatment:

Good for return to most activities within 3 weeks for the vast majority of patients. Very advanced cases may require up to 8 weeks. Without treatment the condition will progressively worsen and can become quite debilitating.


Cummings Chiropractic Family Wellness | (403) 243-8118

Offering wellness care to the residents of Calgary, Okotoks, and Cochrane