Experiencing pain in the heel? You might be dealing with plantar fasciitis, a prevalent condition caused by the strain and burden placed on the plantar fascia—the connective tissue located at the underside of your foot. This tissue can become inflamed when it stretches or experiences tears, resulting in the development of discomfort.
Modifying one’s gait or running biomechanics can result in discomfort in different areas surrounding the hip, knee, and ankle. These issues may arise due to alterations in the way we walk or run, potentially causing pain and discomfort throughout the lower body.
The field of biomechanics focuses on examining and comprehending human movement and the underlying principles that govern it. By utilizing physics and various mathematical analysis techniques, biomechanics seeks to uncover the capacities and restrictions of the human body, thereby enabling us to enhance performance in various aspects such as muscles and skeleton. This interdisciplinary study delves into the intricacies of how our bodies function, enabling us to optimize our physical abilities.
Foot and ankle biomechanics are fundamental in our daily activities, supporting us from the ground, abusing shock, and keeping us balanced. When these biomechanics aren’t functioning optimally, we may experience pain or other injuries as a result.
Gait analysis can give you insight into why your feet and ankles are hurting, so that you can make changes to reduce stress on them and prevent future injuries. This is especially useful for athletes or anyone simply trying to stay healthy.
Plantar fasciitis is a foot pain condition that affects the tissue on the bottom of your foot near or in the heel. It typically feels like a stabbing or bruise-like sensation and gets worse when you take weight off of your feet, such as when getting out of bed in the morning or sitting for extended periods.
The plantar fascia is a thick and fibrous aponeurosis that extends from your medial tuberosity of your calcaneus (inside heel bone) forward towards the heads of metatarsals. It supports your foot arch while helping absorb shock when walking or running.
When the plantar fascia is stretched or overused, microtears may develop. Over time, these tears lead to inflammation and degenerative changes within the ligament. Microtears can be caused by various factors, including:
Physical therapists can effectively address plantar fasciitis by performing a gait analysis and identifying how your body weight, foot type, job or other activities may be contributing to your symptoms. They may suggest stretching exercises and strengthening exercises for improved flexibility in both feet and ankles as well as applying ice several times daily for pain relief.
When the plantar fascia is injured, it usually becomes a chronic condition that will improve with conservative treatment over time. However, if your symptoms seem to be getting worse, then it’s time for you to see your physiotherapist for further evaluation and assistance.
When suffering from severe plantar fasciitis, the pain can be excruciating. It’s often described as a constant, stabbing or throbbing sensation that lasts throughout most of the day and makes walking extremely uncomfortable.
Early diagnosis is the best way to avoid this chronic condition and allow for natural recovery. Physiotherapy is highly recommended as a treatment option, as it can significantly reduce symptoms and the need for surgery.
Orthotics can be an excellent solution to reduce plantar fasciitis pain and inflammation. However, they must be used correctly in order to reap their full benefits.
Gait analysis, with an emphasis on walking mechanics, has been proven to be the most successful treatment for plantar fasciitis. This involves analyzing mechanics of walking and standing at various times of day.
These tests can help determine which foot or ankle issues will benefit from orthotics treatment. Orthotics are effective for treating a range of conditions, such as heel pain (plantar fasciitis), Achilles tendinopathy, neuroma, bursitis, flat feet and rheumatoid arthritis.
The purpose of plantar fasciitis treatment is to restore optimal mechanics, thus relieving stress on the ligament. To do this, feet and ankles must be resting and certain activities avoided.
You might also like to read: