What is Plantar Fasciitis?
Plantar fasciitis is one of the leading causes of heel pain. It is often seen in people who have begun a new workout program or who have recently increased exercise levels, especially running. It is often associated with tight calf muscles (gastrocnemius and soleus muscles) along with their tendonous attachment, the Achilles tendon. The condition can be quite painful especially in the morning or when taking your first few steps after prolonged sitting.
The plantar fascia is fibrous connective tissue that connects your calcaneus, or heel bone to your toes. The job of the plantar fascia is to work as a shock absorber in the foot. Therefore activities such as long distance running can be provocative. There is also an increased prevalence in people that are overweight and in people who demonstrate excessive foot pronation or turning out of the foot upon weight bearing. This pronation can lead to increased stretch on the fascia and result in micro tears to the plantar fascia. These repetitive strains can build up over time and eventually reach a threshold where the condition can become painful. Plantar fasciitis can also be associated with increased localized inflammation.
If left untreated the condition can often lead to injury of other areas of the body due to compensatory changes along the kinetic chain including the knee, hip, lower back and neck. Custom orthotics can be very helpful in reducing the symptoms of plantar fasciitis by supporting the three arches of your feet and preventing overpronation. Orthotics will also act like shock absorbers in the feet, reducing the amount of force that would otherwise be translated up the leg and into the spine.
Massage therapy and Graston Technique are extremely effective tools in eliminating scar tissue buildup in the plantar fascia and the Achilles tendon. Dr. Patrick Doody has successfully treated scores of runners with chiropractic joint manipulation, shoe orthotics, Graston technique and therapeutic stretching and strengthening exercises. He is a certified provider of Graston Technique and utilizes the Footlevelers digital foot scan to determine if orthotics would be a helpful adjunctive treatment.
Please give us a call today to schedule an evaluation today at our Cambridge, MA chiropractic clinic if you have been suffering from heel and foot pain.