In case you didn’t know you had one, you are the proud owner of a pair of plantar fascia. What is the plantar fascia? Why is this relevant to me? Does it come with an owner’s manual?
What is the Plantar Fascia?
It is the ligament that spans the bottom of the foot running from the calcaneus (your heel), and attaches at each metatarsal head (base of your toes). This particular ligament is bothersome when inflamed from overuse, causing increased pain of the arch or heel which is most pronounced generally in the first few steps out of bed in the morning. With a sign of pain in this area and diagnosing consult with your doctor, this may be a condition called “plantar fasciitis.”
How is this relevant to me?
If you are also the proud owner of several pairs of beautiful high heels, run frequently, have altered mechanics at your ankles called pes planus or pes cavus, or have weakness of your ankles or hips, plantar fasciitis could be something you deal with in your lifetime. Overuse of certain ligaments on the foot can happen with unsupportive footwear (even in daily walking), though it is easily preventable with information that a physical therapist may provide by assessing how your shoes affect your walking or running gait.
Does it come with an owner’s manual?
Knowing how to protect your feet while staying active and athletic is an important part of preventing the onset of plantar fasciitis, or managing the condition to its’ resolution. Though our body doesn’t come with a set of outright instructions, physical therapy can provide a personalized flexibility and strengthening program designed to improve your mechanics while staying active. Flexibility, strength of the ankle, as well as the strength of the posterior and lateral hips, are all important towards maintaining a strong kinetic chain for the body to absorb the shocks of daily walking, running, and general athletics during every heel strike. To build the components of your owner’s manual and learn how to treat or prevent plantar fasciitis, the therapy and medical teams at Sterling Ridge Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine are adept at treating plantar fasciitis and would be happy to help you with your “tune up.”