Plantar Fasciitis

Plantar fasciitis is a pretty common condition.  Roughly 2 million people are treated for it yearly.  It is identified by inflammation and pain in the heel of the foot.  A number of things can cause plantar fasciitis.  Some of the most common ones are:

  1. Repetitive action (running)
  2. Beginning a new training program
  3. Tight calf muscles
  4. Obesity
  5. And, high arches

The plantar fascia is a thin long ligament that attaches the heel of the foot to the top of the foot.  It adds structure to the foot and it supports the arch.  

We rarely think about our feet but we demand and put a lot of stress on them.  Sometimes that stress becomes too much for our feet and it can result in tears in the plantar fascia.  This leads to inflammation and pain.

How long does plantar fasciitis last?

Plantar fasciitis is a tricky condition to treat.  Primarily because we’re on our feet all the time.  

The quickest way to recovery is to stop what you’re doing that is causing the pain.  If you’re a runner, try a new sport for a while.  The key is to give your plantar fascia time to heal.  That healing process can take up to 10+ months in many cases.

Some quick remedies are:

  1. Stay off your feet as much as possible.
  2. Ice your feet and calves.
  3. Stretch calves.
  4. Strengthen your tibialis and arches.
  5. Get blood flowing to the plantar fascia.
  6. Get cushiony shoes.

Are there any tools that you recommend?

Personally, I recommend focusing on the above recommendations but I understand that sometimes quick fixes are much more appealing.  A combination of the two may be just the trick to getting you out of plantar fasciitis pain quicker.

Check out this list of tools that Amazon users have used to deal with their bouts of plantar fasciitis.  The key with using tools is to use them as they are intended to be used and consistency.  You will see results.  

Some popular tools are compression socks, splints, and insoles.

Here’s an expansive list of tools for treating your plantar fasciitis too.

Self Test

    • Is the bottom of your foot just above your heal super tender?
    • Do you have pain when you flex your foot towards your shin?
    • Does the pain lessen when you point your foot down?

If you answered yes to all of these then it’s a good chance you have plantar fasciitis.  And, you should contact your doctor for a proper diagnosis.

Who do I turn to for help?

Stopping isn’t always the ideal solution.  Some prefer to work through the pain.  In this case it’s prudent to get professional help.  A professional can design a program for treating your pain.  They can identify if there are other concerns that are contributing to the plantar fasciitis such as muscle imbalances. They can also provide treatment regimens to get you out of pain faster.

Here are some common steps to take when seeking professional help.

First, get a proper diagnosis from your doctor.

Second, go see a physical therapist.

Third, continue your maintenance with someone who does myofascial/bodywork and/or functional movement/exercise specialist.

If you’ve had plantar fasciitis before then you are going to be familiar with the doctor and physical therapist recommendations and can jump into seeing a myofascial/bodyworker and/or functional movement specialist straight away.

Can plantar fasciitis come back?

Yes! Once you heal your plantar fasciitis it’s important to continue with some routine to lessen the chances of it recurring. It’s also important to invest in shoes that support your feet. And, regularly give your feet and calves some love with massage, an epsom salt bath or something. Don’t take your feet for granted, they deserve love too.

Plantar Fasciitis Exercise Program

To ensure that this program is safe and effective for you, talk to your doctor or physical therapist about which exercises will best help you meet your rehabilitation goals.

After an injury or surgery, an exercise conditioning program will help you return to daily activities and enjoy a more active, healthy lifestyle. Following a well-structured conditioning program will also help you return to sports and other recreational activities.

Click here to view and download the plantar fasciitis exercise program.

How can massage therapy help?

I use a combination of modalities.  The  primary ones being myofascial release, stretching and trigger point therapy  of the calves, ankles, and feet.  The objective of the massage is to lengthen the tight areas, strengthen the weak areas and promote blood flow to the injured areas. Increasing the flow of blood to injured areas provide it with nutrients and helper cells necessary for tissue repair and healing to take place.  I will also suggest exercises and stretches for you to do in between sessions.  As well as, how to massage the area yourself.  

To book your sessions, please choose myofascial release and in the note section of the booking indicate that this is for plantar fasciitis.  

For more information please refer to Dr. Thomas Trojian’s journal entry on the American Family Physician, “Plantar Fasciitis”.  

Hi. I’m Felicia. I’ve made a 20+ year career of massage and bodywork. And, I still love it. I also enjoy writing, playing music, photography, cooking, baking and painting. All of which I’m not very good at. I’m also a daily bike commuter.

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