Farmingdale: Where Is Your Back Pain Coming From?



Approximately 10% of the United States population experiences bouts of heel pain, which results in 1 million visits per year to a medical practitioner for the treatment of plantar fasciitis. The annual cost to treat the inflammatory condition is between 192-376 million dollars per year. Plantar fascia is a thick band of connective tissue that connects from the medial aspect of the heel to the base of the toes. This band of tissue serves to support the arch of the foot. Plantar fasciitis is an inflammation of this connective tissue. The pain associated with plantar fasciitis is most commonly felt at the heel to the mid arch. Pain is usually worse in the morning when taking your first step out of bed. Causes of Plantar Fasciitis: - A person is at greater risk to develop plantar fasciitis if they are overweight. Increased forces places on the arch causes the fascia to overstretch and become painful. - People that have overpronation of the foot (flat feet), that stand for long periods of time are predisposed to plantar fasciitis. This population of people would benefit from arch supports/orthotics to decrease pronation of the foot thus decreasing stress on the fascia.

- Improper footwear can cause increased stress at the arch of the foot secondary to poor support, which can lead to plantar fasciitis. A good supportive shoe/sneaker should be semi rigid when attempting to bend it in half and or twist the shoe lengthwise. The Shoe/sneaker should have laces which when tied press the arch of the shoe against the arch of the foot for additional support. There should be visible bump or raised surface in the shoe that provides support for the arch of your foot. If your shoe does not have a good arch support, replace your innersole with a more supportive arch support. I recommend Spenco Total Support Max. Treatment of Plantar Fasciitis: - Rest, ice, and anti-inflammatory medication to help decrease pain and swelling. Stretching of the gastrocnemius muscle (calf), will improve the mobility at the ankle joint which in turn will decrease forces placed on the plantar fascia. If conservative treatment does not decrease your pain, stop in for a free screening at Farmingdale Physical Therapy West and ask for Rich V., P.T.A. and Athletic Trainer. - Article by: Richard Viskewich, PTA

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