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Are you currently suffering from pain at the bottom of the heel? It is necessary to identify when symptoms occur, where they happen and what the symptoms feel like to be able to classify the pain as plantar fasciitis (PF).


PF symptoms that are common include pain with first steps in the morning, after lengthy rest and pain that's relieved with activity. Many patients wonder, what's causing these symptoms and why are they occurring? Also, how can these symptoms alleviate? Find the answer to such questions below.

What Causes PF?

A level foot (decreased/flattened arch) places increased stress on the plantar fascia. This typically ends in pain at the heel surface that is interior. Approximately 10-20 percent of injured athletes can be impacted by PF, but just 5-10 percent advancement to surgery. This demonstrates that conservative treatment is perfect to initially treat PF. Nevertheless, conservative treatment can take up to 6-18 months to alleviate symptoms.

There are three bands of the plantar fascia that are present in a majority of the population. These bands go to the outer aspect, center and interior region along the arch of the base of the foot. Research shows the plantar fascia is generally activated during heel lift. This motion causes the toes to be bent back toward the body, increasing the firmness of the plantar fascia to help in supporting the arch.

It is important to note that some individuals are predisposed and at  risk for getting PF. One variable is rigidity in several areas within the boney complex of the foot. Changes in structure or the freedom of the bones that make up the foot may result in decreased ankle range of movement and a reduced arch. Another variable that can lead to these symptoms is a tight Achilles Tendon. Achilles tendon and the plantar fascia are joined by a little structure known as the paratendon and are in close proximity. Lastly, unsupportive footwear, over use and obesity might additionally play a part in PF.

Treatment Alternatives

Depending on the cause of one’s PF, physical therapy provides a multitude of treatment options. A widely used method is joint mobilization, which helps the bones in gliding in the right direction.. Recent research also demonstrates that strengthening of the Achilles tendon could be transferred to the PF. This may help in increasing the strength of the plantar fascia to prevent it from being susceptible to degenerative changes or weakening and even making it prone to having a tear. Although there are various methods to reduce PF and strengthen the surrounding muscles, it is recommended to seek the assistance of a physical therapist to make certain you are using proper body mechanics and increasing the load safely with progression.

 In the instance you believe you're having symptoms of PF, consult with a doctor to assure physical therapy would be an option. Let Emery Physical Therapy be a superb alternative to aid in your recovery and restore the normal function of the foot/ankle as well as the strength of the lower extremities. Request an appointment today by calling Emery Physical Therapy at (847) 786-2014.