Symptoms: Sharp pain over the heel and aching pain along the underside of the foot are signs of plantarfascitis. Pain often increases when more time is spent in standing or walking.
Causes: This condition is caused by excessive stretching of the plantar fascia, which is the strong “spring-like” ligament that runs along the arch of the foot. Typically this is more prevalent when people have either flat feet or very high arches. A long history of wearing high-heeled shoes can be a contributing factor in females.
Relief: Hands-on joint mobilization can relieve ankle stiffness, and stretching tight calf muscles can improve ankle movement. Myofascial release of the plantarfascia helps prevents scar formation, and strapping techniques decrease stress on the plantarfascia. If an orthotic shoe insert is needed, the therapist will either suggest an “over-the-counter” orthotic or refer the patient to a podiatrist for a more specialized orthotic.