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What causes Plantar Fasciitis?

What causes Plantar Fasciitis? What can you do after you have it? Finally, how can you prevent it in the future? This is very painful and I want to avoid this in the future at all costs!

Plantar Fasciitis, like all Fascists and their close cousins Communists and Socialists can cause debilitating pain! And the Treatment “Shots” can work for all! Just kidding, I wanted to see if you were paying attention.

If you have Plantar Fasciitis, you have painfully located your Plantar Fascia, if not sit down barefoot and cross one knee over the other. Look at your foot. You should notice the arch of your foot resembles a bow. Pull back on your toe and you have discovered the “Bowstring.” This is your Plantar Fascia. It originates at your heel and runs the length of the bottom of your foot and fans out into “little fingers” that insert into the Metatarsal Bones at the base of your toes. It is a really dense, ligament-like rope of fibrous tissue, each rope about 1/8th of an inch thick. Its primary function is to maintain the arch by not allowing the bow to pull too far apart, the same thing the Bowstring does for the Bow.

Plantar Fasciitis is an overuse injury. You have caused the Plantar Fascia to “stretch and contract” too many times, probably under too much load, for too long. Your continuous punishment of the Fascia is forcing it to work harder than your current level of conditioning can manage. When the Fascia stretches so much that it loses its flexibility, it can actually tear. This condition is called Plantar Fasciitis.

One of your most painful moments with Plantar Fasciitis, is the first few steps you take after getting out of bed in the morning. It feels like you are stepping down on sharpened points of a bunch of steak knives. You can wear a “Right-Angle Night Splint” at night to prevent this pain. It keeps the Fascia stretched out overnight so you don’t keep re-injuring the fascia ever morning.

You should see a Podiatrist as soon as possible to get the best medical attention since Plantar Fasciitis can be confused with a heel spur. The Podiatrist can best determine the right treatment options for your injury.

You treat Plantar Fasciitis as you would most overuse injuries, tendinitis or bursitis.

(1) Stop doing what hurts

(2) Apply ice

(3) Take Anti-Inflammatory Medication(for about 1 week)

(4) Take contrast baths

(5) Protect the injured area by keeping the weight-off as much as possible.

Getting rid of the Plantar Fasciitis can take a long time and even after the pain subsides, it can come back again if you are not careful. It is preferable to continue treatment for 6 weeks-post pain. The Fascia is still torn and damaged for 6 weeks or more after you have no pain symptoms. Rehabilitation needs to be very gradual and very slow. Be extremely sensitive to any, even minor discomfort when you are rehabilitating your foot (feet). You can easily re-tear the fascia if you are not careful. Plan on a walking-stretching program and very slowly increase the speed and distance of your walk. Be equally careful when you re-start the impact movements that caused to Plantar Fasciitis to begin with; Running, Jumping, Sprinting, Dancing, Martial Arts, etc.

Be consistent with exercise and stretching. Always be aware of any “twinge” you might feel in the formally damaged area.

To prevent it from returning, always Warm-Up and Always Cool-Down. Do not violate the Exercise Science Principles you learned in the IFPA Personal Training Certification Course: SAID, GPO, FITT, GAS, etc. Build the frequency, intensity, duration and type of exercise you do according to the rules so you do not get any injuries including the return of your Plantar Fasciitis

There is far more detailed information provided to you on the treatment, care and prevention of Plantar Fasciitis and other orthopedic injuries in the IFPA Certified Sports Medicine Specialist than I can provide you here. Expand your scope of practice to help more people with this credential!

I wish you the best of Luck in all your endeavors!