Plantar fasciitis causes a tremendous amount of pain at the heel of the foot. This area of the foot is the plantar fascia, which is a thick ligament that connects the front of your foot and the heel. It is the built-in shock absorber for your foot, and it helps support your arch while you walk. As you go throughout your day, the heels of your feet support you, and the pain of plantar fasciitis can create a struggle to get through everyday activities. 

What Is Plantar Fasciitis?

Plantar fasciitis is a prevalent foot complaint. Because this area of your foot sees a lot of activity from day to day use, the ligaments can become damaged, causing plantar fascia becomes inflamed, which leads to pain and stiffness. If you suffer from this condition, you probably notice the pain is worse when you stand up after a period of resting or sleeping. If you stay on your feet, the pain is less. The pain could be on the heel, the ball of the foot, or even at the arch. In some cases, there is also swelling. Heel spurs may also be present.  

What Is The Cause of Plantar Fasciitis?

The cause of plantar fasciitis is varied. Many times, it is due to athletic overuse and from high-impact exercises and activities. Sometimes it is because of not wearing the correct footwear. Some people also have flat feet or a high arch that impacts how they walk, which causes inflammation. For others, plantar fasciitis is due to normal aging, or even obesity. 

Conservative Treatments of Plantar Fasciitis

Usually, conservative measures can help with this painful condition. Rest and ice often help to calm the inflammation. Once the swelling is gone, rehabilitation works to help address the strength and flexibility of the lower leg and your foot, which helps keep the condition from returning. Usually soft tissue muscle work like instrument assisted soft tissue motion or massage can be done while you are doing exercises/stretches.

There are a few at-home stretches that can be performed with an ice bottle or golf ball. A chiropractor can help you determine if your feet have an issue that orthotics may be useful. A custom orthotic can be beneficial because they can be individualized based on the patient. An example would be an orthotic insert with a depression hole in the heel end for correction of a heel spur while supporting the foot to help prevent the pronation of the foot.   

Another popular treatment option is the use of a splint at night. This splint keeps the plantar fascia stretched while you sleep, so there is less pain in the morning. You might also consider a foot brace that offers compression during the day to manage pain. A chiropractor can help by adjusting the lower back to restores motion and reduces the irritation to surrounding nerves to help with the condition and helps to stabilize the stress of the ligament. Also, a chiropractor can help you with your overall gait. When your body is adjusted and inline, you are not likely to place any unnecessary stress on your feet. Chiropractors can adjust your feet and other extremities to help you move better.  

Other Treatments for Plantar Fasciitis

If conservative treatments are unsuccessful in treating your plantar fasciitis, there are other options. Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP), or steroid injections, can be considered. The PRP treatment uses the plasma and platelets to help the body heal itself. The PRP is obtained from the patient and injected into the plantar fascia. Sometimes patients lack blood flow in the inflamed ligament, and blood flow is necessary for healing. This lack of blood flow is why over-the-counter pain relievers do not seem to help all patients with plantar fasciitis. The injections increase blood flow to the area and aid natural healing. Those who suffer from the pain of plantar fasciitis also consider minimally invasive procedures such as Percutaneous Tenotomy. This procedure stimulates a healing response in the heel, and recovery is six to eight weeks. There is usually no need for physical therapy after this procedure, and there is only one small incision.  

Usually, patients and doctors prefer to start with conservative approaches for plantar fasciitis before facing more aggressive options. In the past, the treatment was a traditional open surgery that meant months of recovery. Currently, there are several options to help you cope with plantar fasciitis – and starting with your chiropractor is always a smart choice! If foot pain is something that you’re dealing with, please know that the doctors here at Fletcher Chiropractic in Lincoln, Nebraska are here to help!