If you are experiencing continued foot pain, you may be suffering from Plantar Fasciitis.
The foot is complicated. It includes 28 different bones and many different joints. To help control the position of the foot and stabilize the joints, there is an intricate system of muscles and ligaments associated with the foot, ankle, and back of the calf that have long tendons that cross the ankle and foot. These can have an effect on the foot and toes.
There is another group of muscles located on the bottom of the foot. Additionally, just under the skin and over the top of the foot muscles is the “plantar fascia”. This is a very tough and dense connective tissue that runs from the bottom of the heel all the way to the toes.
Beneath the plantar fascia the muscles are arranged in layers, and each muscle within each layer has a different job or function. For the foot and ankle to work properly, and to prevent pain and injury, these different layers of muscles need to glide freely over one another during normal use.
Throughout the day we are on our feet a great deal. Over time, the muscles and fascia can become strained and fatigued resulting in small amounts of injury known as micro-trauma. The body responds to soft-tissue injury (including micro-trauma) by laying down small amounts of scar tissue to repair the injured tissue. Unfortunately, over time, this scar tissue will build up and accumulate into what are known as adhesions.
As the muscles and fascia of the foot become strained and develop adhesions, they become very tight. In many cases with long term muscle tightness, formation of this constant tension can even lead to a bone reaction. In addition to causing pain and tightness, these adhesions are also very sticky, affecting the ability of the muscles to stretch, contract, and glide over one another. Another common development is the accumulation of adhesions that affect the nerves in the region of the ankle and foot.
In an attempt to treat Plantar Fasciitis, a variety of treatment methods are used. Some of the more common approaches include anti-inflammatory medications, rest, ice, orthotics, night splints, ultrasound (US), muscle stimulation (E-Stim), stretching, and exercise. More active approaches, such as stretching and exercise, are often needed for full rehabilitation of the condition and to restore full strength and function of the muscles.
Hands-on treatment to address problems in the soft tissues of the body, including the muscles, ligaments, fascia, and nerves, is most effective. This includes massage.
To learn more about foot pain and how to minimize it, send me a request to book an appointment at one of these locations:
- Oakland Studio
- Novato @ North Marin Chiropractic
- Napa @ California Hand and Rehab