A recent article published in the Journal of the American Physical Therapy Association stated that plantar fasciitis is one of the most common reasons people seek treatment for foot pain. It occurs in over 2 million Americans per year and affects 10% of the population at some time in their lives.
This condition can develop in athletes who run a great deal and in non-athletes who are on their feet most of the day, such as police officers, cashiers, or restaurant workers.
People with plantar fasciitis may experience pain:
• In the morning, when stepping out of bed and taking the first steps of the day
• With prolonged standing
• When standing up after sitting for awhile
• After an intense weight-bearing activity such as running
• When climbing stairs
• When walking barefoot or in shoes with poor support
How can Physical Therapy help with plantar fasciitis?
• Stretching exercises to improve the flexibility of your ankle and the plantar fascia
• Use of a night splint to maintain correct ankle and toe positions
• Selection of supportive footwear and/or shoe inserts that minimize foot pronation and reduce stress to the plantar fascia
• Application of ice to decrease pain and inflammation
• Taping of the foot to provide short-term relief
Research shows that most cases of plantar fasciitis improve over time with these conservative treatments, and surgery is rarely required.