Plantar Fasciitis is extremely common in both the athletic and non-athletic populations. Anatomical features of plantar fasciitis include thickness of the fascia on the undersurface of the foot and altered compressive properties of the fat pad in the heel. It is typically a long-lasting condition, with two studies showing the mean duration of symptoms at 13.3 to 14.1 months. Patients with plantar fasciitis often have limited ankle range of motion and have impairments in their ability to absorb shock with weight bearing activities.
Patients typically have the following signs and symptoms:
- Heel pain
- Pain with initial steps after a period of inactivity and also worse following prolonged weight bearing (i.e., long walks)
- Limited ankle mobility
Imaging studies (such as X-ray or MRI) are not necessary to diagnosis plantar fasciitis.
- Manual therapy including joint and soft tissue mobilizations to improve ankle mobility/flexibility
- Stretching the plantar fascia and surrounding muscles for pain relief and to increase ankle and foot flexibility
- Taping to reduce pain
- Exercises to strengthen the foot muscles
- Exercises to improve movement quality to better control pronation and to better attenuate forces during weightbearing activities, such as walking
- Martin, Robroy, et al, “Heel Pain—Plantar Fasciitis: Revision 2014 Clinical Practice Guidelines Linked to the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health,” from the Orthopaedic Section of the American Physical Therapy Association.” Journal of Orthopaedic & Amp; Sports Physical Therapy, Vol. 44, No. 11.
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