Plantar Fascitis

Plantar fascitis can be defined as pain in the connective tissue of the bottom of the foot.  Plantar fascitis can occur when the foot is placed under more load or stress than it can manage.  This can commonly occur due to overuse, excessive weight, excessive tightness, weakness, or malalignment in the lower leg and calf which requires additional use of the foot to compensate.  Plantar fascitis can become exacerbated by mechanical irritation of the bottom of the foot due to bone spurs that may dig into the connective tissue, or due to poor footwear.  Some people develop malaligned foot bones which the body responds to by compensating in other areas of the foot, sometimes causing plantar fascitis.  Your physical therapist can analyze your foot mechanics in the context of the mechanics of the entire rest of your body, to determine where the problem is coming from.  For example, in some cases, the foot is compensating and over working due to poorly aligned or weak hips.  When the cause is something that can be changed (bad habits, weak or inflexible muscles, or poor joint mobility) we can address the problems with physical therapy.  If the cause is due to abnormal foot alignment which is associated with the shape of the foot bones, then we can compensate for this by prescribing foot orthotics.   We have physical therapists trained in analyzing the cause of plantar fascia pain, and in fabricating custom foot orthotics.  We always try to go the conservative route and resolve the plantar fascitis by correcting the mechanics throughout the lower body through exercises, manual therapy, taping, and education in proper habits and posture first, to save the cost of custom foot orthotics.