Bonavista Physical Therapy Calgary Physiotherapy for Plantar Fasciitis

Book An Appointment A man rubs his heel to relieve pain from plantar fasciitis

What is Plantar Fasciitis?

Plantar Fasciitis is ONE of the most common causes of heel pain in our population. The plantar fascia is the fibrous tissue that runs from the bottom of the heel bone to the base of each toe and is the main support of the arch of the foot. New histological studies are showing that the pain from plantar fasciitis is actually a result of chronic degradation (disorganization) of the tissue rather than acute inflammation. This explains the often chronic nature of the problem. There are a multitude of factors that can contribute to degradation of the plantar fascia tissue.

Risk factors for plantar fasciitis

A diagram showing where pain in the plantar fascia is located in plantar fasciitis
Flat foot (pes planus) / bunions
poor shock absorption of the foot
High arch (pes cavus)/ bunions
increased tensile load on plantar fascia
Short achilles tendon
poor shock absorption through the foot and ankle
limited ankle range of motion
from previous sprains or fractures
weak foot and ankle muscles
leads to poor muscular support and deficient shock absorption
inadequate footwear
poor cushioning or support
prolonged weightbearing on hard surfaces
occupational hazard or training error in runners
overloading the tissues leads to degeneration

Diagnosis of Heel Pain

A man receiving massage treatment for plantar fasciitis

There are many other causes of heel pain in addition to plantar faciitis such as:

  • tarsal tunnel syndrome
  • neuropathy (diabetes, sciatica)
  • acute calcaneal fractures or stress fractures
  • severs disease
  • arthritis (osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis)
  • fat pad contusion or atrophy
  • achilles or posterior tibial tendonitis
  • retrocalcaneal bursitis

It is EXTREMELY important to get the correct diagnosis of your heel pain in order to properly manage the condition.  A physiotherapist will be able to both diagnose your problem and help you learn to mitigate any lifestyle, biomechanical, anatomical or environmental risk factors that are contributing to your pain.

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Treatment for Plantar Fasciitis Can:

walking barefoot
  • Correct diagnosis of the CAUSE of the symptoms = effective treatment
  • Reduce pain through proper management of load and foot support
  • Prescribe orthotics to optimize foot support
  • Prescribe exercises to strengthen foot and ankle muscles for proper shock absorption
  • Prescribe stretching or ROM exercises to normalize biomechanics around the foot and ankle
  • Learn how to self manage your condition without the use of drugs or longterm therapy
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