Symptoms, Causes, and Physical Therapy

Plantar fasciitis often presents as pain in the heel or arch of the foot.

Symptoms

  • Pain on the bottom of the foot, often in the heel region and particularly at the front of the heel.
  • Pain with standing, particularly with the first steps in the morning.
  • Pain aggravated by stretching the tissue on the bottom side of the foot and toes

Potential Causes

  • Muscular restrictions in the calf.
  • Obesity with increased forces placed on the foot.
  • Trigger points in muscles which refer pain to the heel and foot.
  • Increased activity level that the body is not yet used to.
  • Atrophy of the fat pad on the heel.
  • Overtraining or overuse.

Treatment

There are a plethora of treatments available for plantar fasciitis. Physical therapy treatments include:

  • Manual therapy, such as dry needling, aimed at restoring mobility and motion to the foot and ankle.
  • Prescriptive exercise to address mobility, strength and/or balance deficits.
  • Modalities.
  • Guidance on use of proper footwear, orthotics, or night splints as needed.