Foot and Ankle Pain

The most common foot and ankle pain concern that we see is Plantar fasciitis which refers to inflammation of the plantar fascia, a thick band of tissue that lies at the bottom of the foot. It runs from the heel bone to the toe and forms the arch of your foot. Plantar fasciitis is one of the most common causes of heel pain. It is most often seen in middle-aged men and women, but may also occur in those who are constantly on their feet.

Causes

The plantar fascia functions as a shock absorber and supports the arch of your foot. Excessive pressure over the fascia may strain and tear the tissue causing heel pain. Repeated overstretching or overuse causes irritation or inflammation of the fascia.

Other risk factors may include obesity, foot arch problems such as flat feet or high arches, activities such as long-distance running, ballet and dance aerobics, occupations that necessitate walking or standing on hard surfaces for a long period of time, and wearing shoes with poor arch support or thin-soled shoes.

Most Common Symptoms

  • Stabbing Pain bottom of foot or heal
  • Pain on first steps upon wakening
  • Pain after standing for a long time

Diagnosis

Your doctor will examine your foot and will check for the signs of flat feet or high arches, tenderness, swelling, redness and stiffness or tightness of your foot arch. They will properly analyze your gait/walking patterns while also properly identifying contributing subluxations associated with your spine, hips, and pelvis. Your doctor may suggest an X-ray or MRI scan to rule out other causes of heel pain such as a stress fracture or pinched nerve if necessary.

Treatment Options at BackFit

Most patients with plantar fasciitis are effectively treated with the following measures:

  • Rest: Decrease or avoid the activities that worsen the pain.
  • Ice or Ice Massage: Apply an ice pack over the painful area at least twice a day for 10 to 15 minutes, for the first few days.
  • Supportive shoes and orthotics: Your doctor may recommend shoes with good support and cushioning. Custom orthotics (shoe inserts) may also be helpful.
  • Physical Therapy: Your physical therapist may design an exercise program that focuses on stretching your plantar fascia and Achilles tendon, and strengthening the muscles of the lower leg.
  • Athletic Taping: In addition to exercises, application of athletic taping to support the bottom of your foot may also help relieve symptoms.
  • Night splints: Use night splints to stretch the plantar fascia and allow it to heal.
  • Chiropractic Care: Spine and foot/ankle adjustments
  • Medical Care: Anti-Inflammatories
  • Graston Therapy
  • Pens Therapy
  • Trigger Point Injections
  • TENEX: Minimally Invasive chronic tendon repair
  • Surgery: Occasionally, surgery to release the tight plantar fascia may be needed.

You don’t need to suffer from foot/ankle and plantar fasciitis pain. To determine the underlying cause of your foot pain and options for treatment, schedule a consultation with the TEAM of Doctors at one of our 8 Valley BackFit Health + Spine Locations today!

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