What is it?
Plantar fasciitis is inflammation of the thick tissue on the bottom of the foot. This tissue is called the plantar fascia. It connects the heel bone to the toes and creates the arch of the foot.
The most common complaint is pain and stiffness in the bottom of the heel. The heel pain may be dull or sharp. The bottom of the foot may also ache or burn. This can be painful and make walking more difficult.
The pain is usually worse:
- In the morning when you take your first steps
- After standing or sitting for a while
- When climbing stairs
- After intense activity
The pain may develop slowly over time, or suddenly after intense activity.
What Causes Plantar Fasciitis?
Plantar fasciitis develops because of repeated small tears to the flat band of ligamentous tissue that connects your heel to the bones of your toes. These tears weaken the arch that supports the foot. As the arch of the foot weakens, increasing strain is placed on the deeper ligaments and tendons of the foot and lower leg. Over time, Plantar Fasciitis can result in Chronic Pain, Heel Spurs and Degenerative Joint Disease (Arthritis).
You are more likely to get plantar fasciitis if you have:
• Foot arch problems (both flat feet and high arches)
• Long-distance running, especially running downhill or on uneven surfaces
• Sudden weight gain or obesity
• Tight Achilles tendon (the tendon connecting the calf muscles to the heel)
• Shoes with poor arch support or soft soles
Plantar fasciitis is seen in both men and women. However, it most often affects active men ages 40 - 70. It is one of the most common orthopedic complaints relating to the foot.
Plantar fasciitis is commonly thought of as being caused by a heel spur, but research has found that this is not the case. On x-ray, heel spurs are seen in people with and without plantar fasciitis.
Signs and tests
The health care provider will perform a physical exam. This may show:
• Tenderness on the bottom of your foot
• Flat feet or high arches
• Mild foot swelling or redness
• Stiffness or tightness of the arch in the bottom of your foot.
X-rays may be taken to rule out other problems.
Standard Medical Treatment for Plantar Fasciitis
Physicians typically treat Plantar Fasciitis with anti-inflammatory drugs and steroid injections. These medications temporarily reduce the pain associated with Plantar Fasciitis but do not treat the cause of the problem. Traditional methods can usually take between 9 months to two years to resolve this condition.
Class IV Laser Plantar Fasciitis Program
The laser program utilizes the latest FDA Cleared Lasers, and combines them with other therapies to help reduce the pain, strengthen the muscles around the foot and ankle joints, and increase range of motion. The Class IV Laser is at the heart of our treatment program. It provides a safe, effective, non-invasive, painless solution for plantar fasciitis. Patients respond exceptionally well to treatments and usually notice significant pain relief after just a few treatments.
Permanent correction of Plantar Fasciitis requires two procedures.
1. Heal the Damaged Fascia
Ending the pain caused by Plantar Fasciitis requires stopping the cycle of inflammation. This is critical because chronically inflamed tissues block the flow of needed nutrients and oxygen to surrounding muscles and joints. The advanced CLASS IV K LASER restores the flow of nutrients and oxygen to the inflamed tissue allowing the cells to repair themselves at an accelerated rate.
2. Correct the Foot and Gait Mechanics
Most cases of plantar fasciitis are resolved very easily with Class IV laser Therapy alone; however, if the condition has become chronic this can lead to alterations in the gait that will have to be addressed. This could involve stabilizing the arch with orthotics, braces, splints or implementing a simple series of specific strengthening and stretching exercises.
Plantar fasciitis when treated early has an exceptionally good prognosis with our protocol. We encourage those with Plantar Fasciitis to seek our help right away. The longer one suffers with this painful condition the more likely it will cause other conditions in the knee, hip and spine.