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Plantar Fascia causes and treatment

This past Sunday was a tough loss for the Denver Broncos. With only 3 yards needed to surpass a NFL record, the Broncos were able to celebrate early in the game as Peyton Manning broke the record for most career passing yards. Unfortunately, the remainder of the game did not go as well for Manning and the Broncos were not able to celebrate a win.

Since Sunday’s game, we have heard about an injury that Peyton Manning is dealing with. It has been reported that Manning has suffered a plantar fascia tear. So what is plantar fascia? And how is it injured?

Plantar fascia is the connective tissue that is found along the bottom of our foot, from the heel to the toes. This tissue provides support for the arch our foot and can become a common source of foot pain.

We commonly hear of plantar fasciitis and this is the inflammation of the plantar fascia. This inflammation can cause pain at the heel (an attachment site for the tissue) and discomfort along the arch of the foot. Symptoms are common when standing and can be more intense in the morning. Plantar fasciitis may progress to tears in the fascia with repeated stress and injury to the tissue.

So what causes plantar fasciits? The inflammation of the plantar fascia can occur due to  biomechanical causes such as the structure of the arch of the foot. For example, if an individual’s arch is low this can cause increased stress on the tissue. Another cause may be extended standing that causes repeated stress on the plantar fascia. A full examination can identify the potential cause of plantar fascia and a exercise program can be initiated to improve symptoms.

Common treatments for plantar fasciitis include stretches of the ankle, strengthening of the muscles of foot and mobilizations of the foot and/or ankle. Another recommendation may be using a shoe insert to provide arch support and thus, reduce stress on the plantar fascia. These interventions can reduce the stress on the plantar fascia and improve the support of the foot. Plantar fasciitis can interfere with many activities and it is important to begin a program to reduce pain and return to the activities you enjoy.

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18 Nov, 2015

Physical Therapy

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