The plantar fascia is a ligament that supports the arch of your foot. The most frequent cause of heel and foot pain, plantar fasciitis, occurs when the plantar fascia is strained, weak, swollen, or inflamed. Plantar fasciitis is common in those who spend a great deal of time on their feet, including warehouse workers and athletes.
The team at One Accord Physical Therapy in Casa Grande, Phoenix, and Gilbert, Arizona, specializes in diagnosing and treating plantar fasciitis. Learn how you can recover at home and when it’s time to see a doctor.
Causes of plantar fasciitis
All causes of plantar fasciitis involve straining the plantar fascia ligament that stretches from your heel to your toes. If you strain the plantar fascia once, it isn’t likely to do much harm. Repeated strain, however, can cause enough damage that you experience major pain when you stand or walk.
If you are active or if your job requires walking or standing for long periods of time, you are at higher risk for plantar fasciitis. Other risks can include:
- Flat feet
- Tight muscles
- Being overweight
- Ill-fitting footwear
- High arches
- Inflexible Achilles tendons
Symptoms of plantar fasciitis
The chief complaint of those with plantar fasciitis is pain upon standing or walking with noticeable intensity first thing in the morning. See your doctor if you recognize pain or swelling around your heel that coincides with a fever, numbness, or tingling.
You should also pay attention to how you walk throughout each day. If you are unable to bend your foot downward, go up on your toes, or walk like you normally would without debilitating pain, get in touch with One Accord Physical Therapy for a consultation.
What to expect at your appointment
Your medical history, including that of any recent injuries, will help determine the cause of your pain. To diagnose your condition, our specialists will conduct a thorough exam to test the functionality of your foot, ankle, toes, and plantar fascia tendon. Your specialist may order additional tests, such as an X-ray or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to check for any fractures.
Plantar fasciitis treatment
The best treatment for plantar fascia strain is rest and ice. If you can avoid movement, keep your feet up and ice the area as often as you can. If rest is not an option, however, do your best to avoid walking or running regularly, particularly on hard surfaces.
Over-the-counter pain relief is helpful for most, and you should consider purchasing new shoes with better arch support. If the pain does not resolve on its own with home remedies, it’s imperative to schedule an office visit as soon as possible. Your physician might prescribe a combination of physical therapy, arch taping, platelet-rich plasma (PRP), and at-home exercises or stretches to help your body begin to mend.
At One Accord Physical Therapy, we believe early intervention for plantar fasciitis is the best way to prevent surgery while minimizing the amount of time your body takes to heal. With the right treatment, you should be on your feet in a few weeks. Give us a call or book your consultation online to go over your treatment options today.