February’s Condition of the Month:
In the upcoming months we’ll tell you about various orthopedic and medical conditions that can be treated in our clinic. This month we are focusing on Plantar Fasciitis, aka PF. Any of you who run as exercise know of PF even if you haven’t experienced it yourself. For those who haven’t heard the horrors, do you have:
- Pain on the bottom of your foot, near the heel?
- Foot pain and stiffness first thing in the morning, stepping out of bed?
- Foot pain and stiffness after resting or sitting for a while?
- Bottom of foot pain after standing for long periods of time?
- Pain that increases when climbing stairs or standing on your toes?
- Does the pain get better after a few steps but generally increases as the day goes on?
Plantar fasciitis is a type of repetitive motion injury often associated with heel spurs as well as flat feet and tight calves. PF is a degenerative inflammation of the plantar fascia on the bottom of the foot that is technically referred to as fasciosis. It is a result of chronic arch strain. Have your arches “dropped,” causing the plantar fascia to be overly stretched? Do you have a high, “fixed” arch with a shortened plantar fascia? Both are setups for PF. Do your feet roll in (over-pronation) or do you walk on the outsides of your feet (over pronation, aka supination)? Again, both can contribute to PF.
When is PF not PF? If your heel pain doesn’t respond to the home remedies often suggested for plantar fasciitis, it probably is not plantar fasciitis.
But what could it be?
- Trigger points in some of the foot and toe muscles
- Trigger points in some of the calf muscles
- Short/ tight calf muscles
- Inhibited or weak calf muscles
- Trigger points in the piriformis muscle
- Sciatic nerve irritation
- Referred pain from one of the sacral ligaments
- Referred pain along the 5th lumbar dermatome
- General hip/pelvic instability (hips rotated, one leg “short”)
- Slumped posture (shortening the hip flexors)
If you are experiencing heel pain, book now and let us help pin point the underlying cause. The stretching you read about on the internet may actually be exacerbating things. Or you may be missing the cause all together. Schedule an appointment today to see if your issue is really PR or an impostor.