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Plantar Fasciitis: Symptoms, Causes, and Treatment

Do you have heel pain?

Pain with walking or putting weight on your feet in the mornings?

Can't participate in your weekend hikes or tennis games?

You may be struggling with something called plantar fasciitis.


Plantar fasciitis is a common condition that causes heel pain. It may involve inflammation of the plantar fascia - a tough, fibrous band of connective tissue that runs from your heel bone to the base of your toes. The plantar fascia plays a role in absorb ground reaction forces from the ground and supporting the arch of the foot. It must be elastic and pliable, and strong, to be able to tolerate the forces from the ground with activities like standing, walking, hiking, and jumping.

If the plantar fascia gets overloaded, this puts excess tension and strain on the tissue, causing discomfort and micro-degeneration of the collagen tissue that make up the fascia. "Micro-tears" in the fascia can cause inflammation and scar tissue builds up. This is why you may feel "knots" in your plantar fascia when you try and massage it with your hands.


Many things...But here are a few!

  1. Lack of mobility in your feet. Your foot is made up of 33 joints. There are 22 bones in the foot. A joint is the space between two bones. Each joint must have mobility! Mobility in the joints are key to absorb forces from the ground. Imagine having a very stiff foot - your foot isn't going to be able to absorb forces that well. Think about jumping onto a very stiff and hard trampoline - it will probably hurt your feet and knees and ankles! We want the joints in our feet to be mobile, just like a mobile and springy trampoline! Improving your foot mobility means that each little joint can help absorb forces from the activities you enjoy, so that the plantar fascia doesn't have to do all the work!

  2. Weakness in your feet! There are 29 muscles in your feet. This allows your feet and toes to flex, extend, spread out, and more! Your muscles must be strong enough to absorb forces from the ground. Otherwise, weakness in the muscles mean that the plantar fascia is going to do more than its supposed to, causing the plantar fascia to get irritated.

  3. BOTTOM LINE: The plantar fascia is overloaded. Whenever tissue is overloaded, the tissue is unhappy. Think about it. If you work out and all of a sudden start lifting 200 lbs, you will probably feel sore and pain afterwards. It is the same as the plantar fascia. When it comes to healing plantar fasciitis, you want to A) improve mobility in your feet and B) improve strength in your feet, so that the plantar fascia doesn't have to do ALL of the work!


Plantar Fasciitis

In these foot mobility exercises, I am using a franklin ball. I like the franklin ball because its pliable and squishy.


Foot strength

Check out my youtube video!

To learn more about how physical therapy can treat your foot pain, check out my website to learn more. Click here to schedule a 15-minute free phone consultation.


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