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Treating Plantar Fasciitis for a Pain-Free Summer Season

As the summer season kicks into high gear, it’s time to step out, explore, and bask in the sunshine. But what happens when every step you take is accompanied by a sharp, nagging pain in your heel? Don’t let plantar fasciitis dampen your summer spirit!

In this article, we’ll unravel the mysteries of plantar fasciitis, explore its causes, and most importantly, discover effective treatments that will have you enjoying a pain-free summer season in no time. Let’s dive in!

Understanding Plantar Fasciitis:

Before we jump into the solutions, let’s understand the foe we’re up against. Plantar fasciitis (or Plantar Fasciopathy) is a common condition that occurs when the thick band of tissue (the plantar fascia) connecting your heel bone to your toes becomes inflamed or damaged. It can feel like a cruel twist of fate when something as simple as walking or standing becomes a painful ordeal. The foot pain is often described as a sharp, stabbing sensation that can be particularly severe in the morning or after periods of inactivity.

Plantar Fasciitis is common and can be caused by a variety of factors, including:

  • Overuse: Increasing activities that place excessive stress on the feet too quickly or performing excessive activity with insufficient recovery.
  • Foot structure: Individuals with flat feet or high arches can be more prone to developing plantar fasciitis because these conditions can put extra strain on the plantar fascia.
  • Tight muscles: Tight calf muscles or Achilles tendons can place additional stress on the plantar fascia, leading to inflammation and pain.
  • Weakness: Insufficient muscle strength, power or motor control can allow excessive foot pronation – commonly driven from uncontrolled hip internal rotation during stance phase of walking or running.
  • Obesity or significant increases in weight in a short time: Excess weight can put additional stress on the feet, leading to the development of plantar fasciitis.

How can Physical Therapy Help?

Physical therapy is an effective treatment option for plantar fasciitis. The first step in physical therapy is a comprehensive evaluation. During this evaluation, your physical therapist will assess your symptoms, medical history, and overall physical condition. They will perform an evaluation to get to the root cause of your heel pain.

Because – the true cause of the pain may be at your hip or back. . . .

Based on the results of this evaluation, your physical therapist will develop a personalized treatment plan to eliminate your pain and get you back to doing the things you love!

Here are some of the ways physical therapy can help treat this condition:

Dry Needling: Dry Needling for plantar fasciitis works in multiple ways, by causing a release of a cascade of beneficial natural hormones and chemicals to stimulate healing. Dry Needling will lead to a release of your body’s natural opioids (painkillers), a secondary (non-opioid) mechanism of pain relief, and a massive increase in circulation (blood flow) to the local area. Most people experience significant of complete relief with 2-4 visits.

Manual therapy: A host of various manual therapy techniques are at your disposal to address your symptoms and help get you back to your favorite activities quickly. These may include joint mobilizations, joint manipulations, soft tissue mobilization, cupping, scraping (IASTM), nerve glides, and other hands-on techniques as necessary.

Body Tempering: can affect the soft tissue (muscles, tendons, ligaments and fascia) to improve your mobility and prepare you for activity. Body tempering can also help you recover quicker and address mobility restrictions.

Blood Flow Restriction Therapy (BFRT): incorporating BFRT into an exercise program for plantar fasciitis can increase the rate of healing and strengthening of your foot muscles! Researchers has shown that you can gain significant muscle with LOW loads of training in 4-6 weeks. This allows to to gain strength while still reducing the load on your plantar fascia. This is the best of both worlds because you get to reduce the stress on your plantar fascia (reduce pain and allow healing) while also gaining strength to improve your foot support and return to activity quicker.

Footwear and Orthotics: If needed, we can help you determine the best footwear or inserts. These should be used temporarily as a modification to alleviate symptoms. As you address the true root-cause, you will not need to rely on special shoes or inserts. *Hello Beach – Lets be Barefoot!

Taping: Taping techniques can be helpful in the recovery process. We have multiple tape options in the clinic and will explain how tape will help you specifically if needed in your recovery.

Exercise: At Alpha Osteopractic, the goal is always to optimize your wellness and ability to live life to the fullest. We will teach you the best exercises to address your specific needs and explain why. Each exercise will be prescribed with purpose and will progress you towards your ultimate goals.

Stretching: If an identified tissue limitation is contributing to your symptoms, you will be taught how to address that mobility issues most efficiently and effectively. (Hint – most likely it is not doing a bunch of long static stretches).

Gait analysis: We can analyze your gait (the way you walk) including video analysis with body markers and specific angles to identify any abnormalities that may be contributing to your plantar fasciitis and develop a plan to address these issues.

Activity modification: At Alpha Osteopractic, we know you love to do what you love to do. Don’t let another doctor tell you “Well, just don’t do that”. We call B.S. – we want to keep you doing as much of what you love as makes sense in that phase of your recovery. We will help you understand the loading mechanisms and how much you can do to optimize your recovery. Again, the goal is always to get you back to doing what you love – as much as you want!l your story online can make all the difference.

Don’t let plantar fasciitis put a damper on your summer season. With our help, you can be armed with knowledge and effective treatments. You have the power to reclaim your pain-free life and enjoy all the barefoot or flip-flop wearing activities you want! Alpha Osteopractic is here to support you every step of the way.

If you are unsure if Alpha Osteopractic is the right fit for you, schedule a FREE 15 minute phone consultation. We will give you a call and answer your questions. We will help make sure you get the best care for YOU (even if it is not with us).

Request an appointment HERE and start your journey to a pain-free season.

Wishing you a summer filled with blissful steps and endless adventures!

Dr. Brittany A. Forbes, PT, DPT, FAAOMPT
We help athletes and active adults eliminate pain, optimize wellness, and achieve new heights without medications, injections or surgery.
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