Plantar Fasciitis: Heel Pain

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Plantar Fasciitis is a condition of the foot causing pain in the heel of the foot. Pain is usually most severe when taking the first few steps of the day or after long hours of standing. Physiotherapy is an excellent way to cure this condition and reduce the pain which is mainly caused due to the inflammation of the plantar fascia which is a dense fibrous connective tissue connecting the heel to the toes. ReLiva Physiotherapy provides treatment for plantar fasciitis at its clinics in Navi Mumbai and Thane.

Physiotherapy in the acute/early phase of this condition focuses on pain relief methods along with the various passive and active stretching techniques to relieve the stress posed on the fascia along with reduction in the inflammation present. To reduce the pain as well as the inflammation, therapeutic ultrasound is used over the posterior surface of the heel. Contrast bath, i.e. keeping the foot dipped in hot water for 10 minutes followed by cold water immediately forms a very important part of the home program which helps in reduction of pain. Other methods could be using taping methods for correcting the alignment of the bones of the foot which would be contributing to the pain and inflammation because of increased load on the fascia. Along with this, stretching of the plantar fascia, calf muscles and tendon Achilles (fibrous band connecting the calf muscles to the heel bone) is taught to the patient and performed by the patient. As a part of chronic management of this condition, other therapeutic techniques like deep friction massage and inotophoresis could also be used, along with the basic stretching and pain reliving techniques.

Curing plantar fasciitis also involves few lifestyle modifications that not only help cure but also prevent the reoccurrence of this condition. Basic changes like using a firm and comfortable footwear and avoiding wearing heels for women are very essential. Footwear modifications like inserting an insole or using cushioned heel insets helps provide support as well as makes the surface more stable and comfortable. Long hours of standing must be avoided and frequent short breaks must be taken to relieve the foot of the constant pressure. Reduction in body weight in case of over-weight and obese individuals also helps decrease the load on the foot/heel.

After the pain has considerably subsided and the muscles gained flexibility, strengthening exercises for the muscles of the foot are done to make the muscles strong enough to take the weight of the body and the repetitive stress and prevent injury. Lumbricals and other intrinsic muscles of the foot are trained and strengthened. So take up Physiotherapy at ReLiva Physiotherapy and Rehab and make every day life easy and pain free.

Causes for Plantar Fasciitis

Increased load on the fascia is the major cause of developing pain and inflammation, leading to stiffness. You are at a greater risk of developing plantar fasciitis if you are overweight or obese. Sudden weight gain may also lead to development of plantar fasciitis. Pregnant women often experience bouts of plantar fasciitis, especially during late pregnancy. If you are a long distance runner or athlete, or have an active job that involves being on the foot often may also pose increased risk of developing this condition. Having foot problems like very high arches, flat feet and tight Achilles tendons also contribute to the factors causing pain and stiffness.

More about Plantar Fasciitis

Plantar Fasciitis is a condition where there is inflammation of the fibrous connective tissue present in the soul of our foot. The fascia extends through the longitudinal arch of the foot and connects the heel to the front of the foot. This is an important static structure supporting the foot, taking up all the strain posed on the foot and hence helps us walk. As the load increases the fascia elongates to act as a shock absorber and support our body. Inflammation may start setting in due to the repetitive micro trauma to the tissue and the stresses placed on it, this leads to pain, decreased mobility and stiffness. The onset is gradual with pain setting in at the inferomedial heel, which is the origin of plantar fascia. Pain and stiffness are worse with rising in the morning or prolonged standing, may be exacerbated with stair climbing and toe raises.

Benefits of Physiotherapy in pain

Physiotherapy helps in dealing with the symptoms of plantar fasciitis like pain, stiffness and inflammation. It helps make life more comfortable, less dependent and also prevents the consequences if treatment is taken well in time.

ReLiva Physiotherapy and Rehab helps you in-

  • Relieving your pain.
  • Increasing the mobility of the tightened structures of the foot.
  • Improving the strength of foot muscles.
  • Making everyday life easy and pain free.

More information about Plantar Fasciitis

  • A heel spur is a pointed bony outgrowth of the bone of the heel (Calcanues). This bony outgrowth could be felt by the examiner during palpation and can also be seen on a radiograpy film, unlike that of plantar fasciitis. Although many people with plantar fasciitis have heel spurs, spurs are not the cause of plantar fasciitis pain. One out of 10 people has heel spurs, but only 1 out of 20 people (5%) with heel spurs have foot pain. Because the spur is not the cause of plantar fasciitis, the pain can be treated without removing the spur.Achilles tendinitis occurs when the tendon that connects the back of the leg to the heel becomes swollen and ultimately painful near the back of the heel or leg. It is typically diagnosed as a result of “overuse” by the runner; and it is often brought about by increasing pace, distance, frequency or speed work. Also, pain is usually localized directly with the tendon, but it may radiate around the entire back of the ankle.
    • Contributing factors: Your pain may be caused due to:
    •            1. Sudden gain in weight
      2. Trauma leading to heel pain
      3. Footwear
      4. Walking or running uphill
    • Difference between plantar fasciitis and Heel Spur:
    • Difference between plantar fasciitis and Achilles tendonitis:

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