Decrease Your Risk of Plantar Fasciitis

Centurion Physical Therapy / Injury & PT  / Decrease Your Risk of Plantar Fasciitis
plantar fasciitis

Decrease Your Risk of Plantar Fasciitis

Plantar fasciitis is a very common foot injury which causes sharp pain on the sole of the foot near the heel and pain is typically worse upon first accepting weight through the foot in the morning. Contrary to popular belief, it is not an inflammatory condition, but a strain or degeneration of the structure. The plantar fascia is a taut band of connective tissue that connects the heel to the toes and functions to support the arch of your foot and protect the deeper muscles, nerves and blood vessels. In the summertime, people tend to walk barefoot frequently or wear unsupportive shoes such as flip flops or flat sandals. Long walks on the beach in bare feet may cause excessive strain on the plantar fascia which is why Summer is this injury’s high season. Other contributing factors to plantar fasciitis are:

  • Excessive impact activity which causes strain such as running, jumping
  • Wearing unsupportive shoes
  • Obesity or excessive weight gain
  • Flat feet
  • Tightness of the calf muscles
  • Bone spurs

The mechanics of the foot during walking may largely determine the strain placed on the plantar fascia. After your heel strikes the ground, the tibia rotates inward, thus flattening the arch (pronating) and placing stretch on the plantar fascia. In addition to flat feet, a typical biomechanical influence on excessive pronation and therefore excessive strain is poor lumbo-pelvic strength and stability (1).

Many Steps can be Taken to Prevent Plantar Fasciitis:

  • Wear supportive shoes. If you must wear flip flops then find a pair with support such as Hoka Ora Recovery Slides, Oofos flip flop, or Fit Flops
  • Stretch your calf muscles frequently
  • Strengthen your core, hips, calves, and intrinsic foot muscles

If you suspect you have plantar fasciitis, be sure to see your physical therapist. They will assess your gait, your foot structure, your strength and stability and make recommendations for an exercise program or orthotics if necessary. A treatment we now offer at Centurion Physical Therapy is extracorporeal pulse activation technology, which has been proven to be very effective for plantar fasciitis and can often resolve symptoms in just a few sessions (2, 3).

We hope you will consider all the above strategies for reducing your chance of injury!

By Deanie Barth