Granted it is only the start of spring, the summer months are just around the corner. That means spending lots of time playing outdoors and odds are your feet will take most of the abuse from your exciting adventures. There are lots of fun things to do in the summer so it is important to take care of your body, particularly your feet!

The fall season brings about a busy time here at Brio. We see many patients with feet pain caused by a summer full of long hours spent playing sports, running, hiking, and walking. A very common injury among active individuals is plantar fasciitis. This injury is often very painful and could spell the end of your ability to be an active individual.

What is plantar fasciitis?



Plantar fasciitis is a condition where overuse of the plantar fascia (the connective tissue and arch tendon under the foot) results in pain under the sole of the foot. It often results from overuse of the plantar fascia during vigorous sporting activities. These long periods of weight bearing cause lots of undue stress in the connective tissue, resulting in pain as well as inflammation, in some cases.

Plantar fasciitis is often characterized by pain in the sole of the foot, near the calcaneus (heel) bone. This bone is the attachment point of the plantar fascia. Left untreated, the constant pulling stress in this area could lead to a bone growth where the fascia attaches to the calcaneus. Needless to say, it can be VERY painful.

What causes plantar fasciitis?

This injury can result from sports that involve lots of running and jumping, which is why we see many patients in the early fall season. The constant stress on the feet causes increased stretching of the plantar fascia. Furthermore, athletes who have poor arch support tend to overpronate (roll in) their feet, making them particularly susceptible to this type of injury.

Another common cause of plantar fasciitis is tight calf muscles. These muscles, comprising of the gastrocnemius and soleus muscles, insert at the calcaneus and can pull on the heel quite firmly. This is why plantar fasciitis is most painful first thing in the morning when the plantar fascia and calf muscles have tightened overnight and are subject to instant stretching with the first steps out of bed.

Individuals who are overweight are also more susceptible to plantar fasciitis due to the excess weight bearing down on the foot.

How to prevent and treat plantar fasciitis

A good way to prevent plantar fasciitis is to make sure to properly stretch the foot, thigh, and calf muscles before AND after activity. Proper athletic taping, ice therapy, and the use of custom-made orthotics are other ways to prevent this injury from occurring. However, if the injury is well developed, it is recommended that the person rest the injured foot as much as possible and explore more aggressive treatment options.

Low Level Laser Therapy for treatment of plantar fasciitis

We have experienced excellent results in treating plantar fasciitis with low level laser therapy. Laser light initiates the body’s natural healing process by exposing the injured cells to light energy that they are currently not receiving. In short, almost every living cell needs light to make energy and grow. Once the injured cells get the energy they need from the laser light, they can start to make their own energy (in the form of ATP), proliferate (multiply), and heal themselves. This results in pain relief and increased range of motion for the injured individual. The science behind this relatively new and little-known technology is simple, yet very effective in most cases. It is non-toxic, non-invasive, has no side effects, and is very safe. Please contact us about this form of alternative treatment and let us help you get back on your feet!

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