Are you suffering with pain on the bottom of one or both feet? Many times pain is worst first thing in the morning when you first stand up putting pressure on the feet. There is a great chance you are suffering with plantar fascitis. This is an acute or semiacute injury which occurs due to the stretching of the soft tissues on the bottom of the foot.
The plantar fascia is strained by:
- excessive pronation of the foot usually caused by flat feet or collapsed arches
- Striking hard on the sole of the feet, very common when running or due to excessive weight
- Rapid foot acceleration and deceleration
- Repetitive stress from heel strike
Middle aged people who are on their feet for long periods of time often complain of heel pain. Most people suffering
from plantar fascitis have been excessively pronating for many years.
The arch of the foot is made up of 3 ligaments. The ligaments weaken over time, placing additional strain on the fascia if the arch isn’t supported to prevent pronation. Common symptoms are swelling, spasms, gait distortion with limping and possibly loss of strength. If plantar fascitis is not treated appropriately, the body starts to deposit calcium at the rear end tendons which can become more serious, painful heel spurs.
As a chiropractor, we evaluate stance and gait on every patient because excessive pronation will likely lead to plantar fascitis. Treatment of plantar fascitis are gentle and very successful. Adjustments of the ankle and foot correct biomechanical faults of the foot. Simple exercises help strengthen the arch and ankle. Orthotic support should be made for all weight bearing activities. Activities that cause foot pain should be avoided.
Another problem with arches that aren’t supported properly is that when the foot
pronates, you foot turns in, your knee buckles in, drops the hip on that side and causes misalignments in your spine. This is like driving a car with a misaligned tire. When you are walking you are causing strain through the entire chain from foot up through your spine. If you experience back pain, hip pain, knee pain and even neck pain, we always want to check your feet to see if they are a contributing cause to your symptoms.
Not all orthotics are created equal. Many just support one of the 3 ligaments that create your arch. An orthotic that supports all 3 ligaments helps prevent pronation and provide optimum shock absorption. Our office, Hometown Family Wellness Center in Freehold, NJ, uses state of the art technology to scan and measure your arches to provide optimal support with Foot Levelers Custom Orthotics. If you are a patient make sure you have your feet scanned the next time you are in our office. If you aren’t a patient call or stop by for a complimentary foot scan.
Other helpful tips to prevent plantar fascitis are to buy good shoes with shock absorbing, firm counters, strong shank and heel counter. It’s important to lose weight to get the additional stress off the arches. Do not over-exert when you feel that first sign of pain on the bottom of your feet.