WHY YOUR HEEL ACHES EVERY MORNING
The Skinny on Plantar Fasciitis
Most people take their two feet for granted, assuming they’ll remain resilient and pain-free forever — that is, until an injury strikes. That’s when we realize just how much we depend on our feet to navigate our everyday lives.
Plantar fasciitis is among the most common of these injuries, affecting upward of 2 million Americans every year and accounting for more than 11 percent of all foot injuries that send patients to a specialist. If you’re suffering from persistent foot pain, it’s important to understand the basics of the syndrome. Armed with this knowledge, you can determine whether the symptoms of plantar fasciitis match your own and figure out the best way to heal your injury. The heel of the foot is a complicated network of muscles and ligaments, all supported by a thick band of tendons called the plantar fascia. This structure holds up the arch of the foot and undergoes tension as the foot bears weight. As you walk, the plantar fascia elongates and tightens repeatedly, acting like a spring that conserves energy and facilitates a proper gait. However, with repetitive stress and/or overuse, the plantar fascia may begin to suffer degenerative decay, particularly at the point at which it connects
to the heel. This can result in severe pain across the heel, forcing you to avoid putting your full weight on the bottom of the affected foot. Typically, this pain is worse when you first get up in the morning or after you take your first steps following a long sedentary period. Plantar fasciitis is especially common among people 40–60 years of age, but it can affect individuals at any stage of their life, particularly runners, military personnel, teachers, restaurant workers, and other professionals who spend most of their day on their feet. Depending on your particular case, an experienced physical therapist can guide you through a set of exercises that will reduce your pain, increase your range of motion, and steadily heal your damaged fascia. If you believe you may suffer from plantar fasciitis, it’s vital to seek treatment soon. It most likely will only get worse until it’s addressed. Luckily, the syndrome is often treatable through noninvasive methods like physical therapy.
“I have now had three laser treatments with Stretch, and I am already starting to notice a huge difference! I have had pain in my left upper trap for years now, and no matter what I’ve tried, nothing has helped me. When I learned about the laser treatments they offer, I was a bit skeptical at first, but willing to try. After the second treatment I received, I experienced much less pain, and I have had better workouts because of it! “I actually just got back from a 27-hour road trip across the country, and sitting straight up for a long period of time is where I experience the most pain. However, after a few treatments, I have no more pain! It’s crazy.” –Karly Morris
“I came in for laser on my neck and upper traps. It started from pulling a muscle while bartending. I play a lot of tennis, so it bothered me when I played. I went through PT here at Stretch, and that helped me regain my mobility. Laser helped me maintain that. I noticed when I lifted heavy boxes, I would feel something and expect to be in pain after. But with the laser, the pain was not there, and that was after just a few sessions. I am doing Pilates now, and I worked a lot on the shoulder that would have caused some pain after, but I did not experience pain afterwards.” –Kerry Hendel
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