Written By: Dr. Eric Waldorf, DC, MPH, DAAPM
What Causes Plantar Fasciitis?
The condition is caused by nocturnal toe pointing. This means as you sleep your foot relaxes into an extended position. This in turn shortens the plantar fascia. When you go to take your first steps in the morning, the fascia elongates and you feel the pain from the fascia pulling on where the tendinous band attaches.
What are the symptoms of Plantar Fasciitis?
Plantar Fasciitis is a condition of the foot where the person suffering from this condition usually feels more pain in the morning when first rising. The pain is described as if one is stepping on a stone in the center of the heel. The pain can be very debilitating. As the day goes on the pain becomes less, however, it never really goes away.
How is Plantar Fasciitis Treated?
It is very important to treat this as soon as possible because in the early stages this can be successfully treated with conservative care. Listed below are examples of exercises that are used in caring for plantar fasciitis.
- Ball Roll-Outs –
- Stand upright and place a golf ball under your foot
- Push your foot downward into the ball
- Begin rolling the ball from the ball of your foot to your heel
*Roll-outs can also be performed utilizing a frozen water bottle instead of a golf ball. This will help cool the area lessen the pain*
- Towel Crunches –
- Lay a bath towel on the floor in front of your couch or chair
- Place your foot at the back edge of the towel
- Using your toes, gather the towel pulling the furthest end closer to you.
If no relief is felt through performing these or other exercises, a night splint may be ordered. This is a boot-like device that is used to hold your foot in flexion thus eliminating the ability of the foot to relax and shorten the fascia.
What Could Happen if I Leave my Plantar Fasciitis Untreated?
If plantar fasciitis is left untreated, it can cause you to alter your walking gait. This will in-turn negatively impact your spine. As a Chiropractor, I often see individuals come into the office in more pain and with more issues because they did not take the initial warning signs seriously and waited to seek help.
As part of my practice, I take a look at the overall body when performing my assessments. I seek to get to the root cause of the problem. I want my patients to return to living a pain free life.