If you get stabbing pain in your heel or the arch of your foot when you take your first few steps each morning, there is a good chance you have plantar fasciitis.
Usually the pain will improve throughout the day but then start all over again the next morning. The problem starts with damage to the soft tissue on the bottom of your foot. A fibrous band attaching to your heel extends along the bottom of your arch and spreads out to attach to the base of your toes. This structure is called the plantar fascia, and it is thought that repetitive micro trauma and overuse contribute to the development of plantar fasciitis. Sometimes it is associated with heel spurs, and sometimes it occurs all on its own.
In most cases, plantar fasciitis will go away on its own within about a year… but who wants to be in pain for that long?! There are a number of things you can do to speed up the healing process of your painful feet. If your problem is new, it can be treated successfully with mechanical therapy… loosening up the joints of the foot and working to massage the fibrous tissue and muscles in and around the foot. A tennis ball exercise can also be very beneficial.
If your problem is long standing, laser therapy can be very effective at eliminating the pain by healing the damaged tissue. Laser therapy uses the beneficial properties of specific wavelengths of light to painlessly accelerate tissue healing.
As far as prevention goes, quality footwear is always a good idea – not only for plantar fasciitis but for your health in general! People who are overweight, have flat feet, or stand for prolonged periods may be more likely to develop this problem. It is also more common in runners because of the repetitive forces to which their feet are subjected.
If you’ve got foot pain, come on in and we’ll help you find out what is causing it and how you can get it feeling better fast!