If you are having pain at the bottom of the foot or heel, you are not alone. 10 percent of American adults are impacted by heel pain and it accounts for one million patient visits per year in the U.S. If you have made a sincere attempt to self-diagnose using Google, it is likely you have stumbled upon the words “plantar fasciitis”. More precisely, plantar fasciopathy, is the degeneration of the tissue at the bottom of the foot where it inserts onto the heel. Patients with this condition typically report foot pain that is at its worst first thing in the morning, or with the first several steps following prolonged sitting. The cause of plantar fasciopathy is multifactorial and is usually a culmination of repetitive micro traumas caused by faulty movement patterns at the foot, ankle, knee or hip. Risk factors for developing plantar fasciopathy include limited ankle joint mobility, high BMI, running, and prolonged weight bearing on hard surfaces.
After being accurately diagnosed by a healthcare professional, there are many treatment options available. Some treatments are well supported by the available research, while others are not. The consumer should be leery of products promising a quick fix. Avoid practitioners who promise relief solely through modalities such as laser treatment, ultrasound, iontophoresis, injection, or shockwave therapy. Instead, seek out practitioners who utilize a combination of evidence-based interventions to address the associated risk factors. Such interventions include foot orthoses, taping, night splints, change in footwear, counseling for weight loss and physical therapy with a specific emphasis on manual therapy to address joint and soft tissue restrictions as well as strengthening of hip and lower leg muscles.
If you are struggling with heel pain, the medical professionals here at Louisiana Orthopaedic Specialists can provide you with a compressive assessment and diagnosis. We are uniquely positioned to address all of your needs including orthotics, splints, physical therapy, and weight loss education. We are here to assist you and are committed to helping you get back on your feet. Pain free, of course!
-Lindsey Champagne, PT.
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