Waking with an achy foot? Friends or physicians telling you it's "plantar fasciitis"? Stretching your calf and icing your foot and still not getting anywhere or maybe even feeling worse? Contemplating an injection? Hold on that needle -- maybe it's not "plantar fasciitis"!
At Shallyn's Physical Therapy and Wellness Services you will find that one of my greatest pet-peeves is people putting a "Band-Aid" on symptoms and not treating the cause of those symptoms.
Here is a quick break down of how Shallyn looks at "plantar fasciitis".
1. Arch support: I observe what happens to your feet when you stand in your natural stance, stand on your toes, stand on your heels, squat, and mini squat twist. From this information, I can tell you whether or not your aching/fallen arch is structural or muscular in origin and thus, design a plan of treatment appropriate for you. Treatment options may include taping, referral to an orthotist for custom orthotic fabrication, or specific lower quadrant strengthening (hip to foot arch, itself).
2. Plantar fascia stress test/spring ligament stress test: I aim to stress and reproduce pain from its source so I can then treat the source properly. The first test pictured here will only reproduce pain if you have a sprain of your spring ligament on the bottom of your foot. The second test pictured here will only reproduce pain if you truly have plantar fasciitis. If you do not have pain with these tests (what I find more commonly), we need to keep searching for the cause of your pain...not "plantar fasciitis".
3. Ankle and foot mobility/stability assessment: I will check the various foot and ankle joints for optimal mobility and also assess gross ankle strength for cause/contribution to your pain.
4. Lumbar assessment. Too much to post on and this part gets pretty individualized but what I will say is the nerves from your low back run down your legs into your feet. It is possible for foot pain (especially if it is both feet at once) to be coming from your back.
So, the next time you experience foot pain and you're told you have plantar fasciitis and stretching and icing are not helping you/worsening you, please think again and give Shallyn's a call to get the cause of your achy foot properly assessed and treated.
Here's to being healthy and happy on your feet in 2018!
Tidbits from your physical therapist.