If you have heel pain, then it is most likely due to plantar fasciitis. It is a condition that affects the plantar fascia, which is the thick band of fibrous connective tissue located on the bottom of your feet. The tissue extends from the heel of your foot all the way down to your toes.
Its position helps you maintain and support the arches of your feet but should not be considered one of the primary stabilization methods that your body uses. However, when this area becomes damaged or becomes weak, you may experience heel pain which is further exacerbated because this is a load bearing area of the body.
Common Symptoms of Plantar Fasciitis
With this condition, you may experience heel and foot pain, stiffness, and tenderness. The pain is most often felt at the bottom of the heel or around the arch of the foot. The pain can vary but is often reported as feeling like a bruise or an ache. If you walk around, the pain may begin to go away; however, with long periods of walking, the pain may become more intense.
What Causes Plantar Fasciitis?
One of the main causes of plantar fasciitis are tight Achilles tendons. If you wear shoes with soft soles or shoes that have poor arch support, then you may find yourself suffering from plantar fasciitis pain.
If you don’t treat plantar fasciitis, it may lead to long-lasting pain that can be further aggravated and lead to long term pain and even disability.
Treating Your Plantar Fasciitis
One of the best ways you can effectively treat plantar fasciitis is through physical therapy. Fascia mobilization is one way a physical therapist can help. Ball rolling on the foot can help with muscle tension and mobility, but it won’t be effective at addressing localized restrictions. In those cases, mobilization of the fascial adhesions is needed to remodel scar tissue and improve flexibility.
The following are a few commonly used techniques you can experience in physical therapy:
Graston. This treatment works to remodel the scar tissue that may be causing the pain and stiffness you experience which can help improve mobility, help ease pain, and restore function to the foot.
Dry Needling. Trigger point therapy is useful to help release muscle restrictions that may be causing pain.
Evaluation. It is important to recognize the imbalances and weaknesses so that the physical therapist can come up with the best treatment plan. The evaluation focuses on running and walking mechanics and helps pinpoint the deficiencies.