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Plantar Fascia Pain

Foot pain can be a bear, especially when it prevents us from being productive at home, work, or engaging in our summer hobbies! One of the most common causes of foot pain is due to irritation of our plantar fascia (often times called plantar fasciitis).


The hallmark sign of this condition is pain on the bottom portion of the heel, typically right next to the calcaneus (heel bone). Most often, this is a sharp pain that is worst with your first steps in the morning and slowly improves as you get moving throughout the day, but never fully resolves. Then you go to bed, wake up in the morning, and the pain is back just as it was the day before.


There are a number of things that contribute to why this condition arises. One of the main correlations found in the research and though experience in our clinic is a shortened or tight gastrocnemius and soleus (calf muscles). These muscles actually have tendon and fascia extension that flow right into the plantar fascia, so if the calf is tight, it puts increased strain through the plantar fascia. This, over time, can lead to “overloading” of the fascia and eventual pain.


Another thing that we often see in people with plantar fascia pain is that they are utilizing shoes that have worn down. And worn down doesn’t necessarily mean that the outsole (or bottom rubber part) of the shoe is worn out, but it means that the foam that makes up the midsole of the shoe is flattened or lost its cushion over time. What makes this tricky is that a lot of times the rubber outsole lasts longer than the foam, so it is hard to tell when it is time for new shoes. This again can lead to abnormal loading of the fascia and lead to pain.


In our clinic, we perform comprehensive motion, strength, and gait assessments to see all the factors that might be contributing to putting someone at risk for this pain as well as how to relieve the pain for those already having it. We also assess people’s foot type and their footwear to make sure that their shoes aren’t a contributor to their pain.


So make sure you are maintaining good mobility through your calves through stretching this summer, and if you are having questions about your footwear, come talk to us!

To schedule an appointment or attend a running presentation at 212, please contact us (715) 254-3978.

Point Forward Physical Therapy is a unique physical therapy clinic in that it provides services utilizing the Adventure 212 facility. The facility contains a warm water pool for aquatic therapy and allows us to care for our patients in an environment which is unparalleled in the Stevens Point area.

Our therapists are highly trained in treating the whole person utilizing research based methods. We also prioritize the education of our patients on the fastest way to return to the activities they enjoy. Learn more