Plantar Fasciitis and Foot Muscle Imbalances
Plantar fasciitis, a common foot condition, occurs when there is excessive pressure on the plantar fascia. This is a tissue that runs along the bottom of your feet. The main cause of this condition is a biomechanical imbalance, which can be due to either overpronation or oversupination of the feet.
When this happens, excessive strain on the plantar fascia can result in heel pain and the development of a heel spur, which is an abnormal bony growth.
Heel spur disease often manifests with discomfort and tenderness when engaging in activities like walking or standing upright. The pain tends to intensify progressively, particularly after extended periods of sitting or standing in one place. Individuals commonly experience heightened discomfort in the morning or after extended periods of sitting.
Without proper physical evaluation, diagnosing plantar fasciitis can be challenging. Your physical therapist has extensive expertise assessing gait and biomechanical factors that could contribute to its onset.
Your therapist can assist in the identification of these issues by conducting various assessment tests such as the windlass test or Jack’s test, before providing a specific treatment protocol designed to address them.
Most often, these issues are easily remedied with an exercise and diet program designed to reduce body weight and enhance foot function, thus helping avoid future issues related to plantar fascia and other foot structures.
Once a patient’s underlying cause has been addressed, pain typically subsides with adequate conservative therapy over time. If that fails to alleviate symptoms completely, surgical intervention may become necessary, though only after trialling conservative therapy first and controlling abnormal mechanics that have caused symptoms to manifest themselves fully.
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