Common foot pain pathologies that our downtown Toronto Chiropodist and podiatrist can help with include plantar fasciitis.
Plantar Fasciitis is a very common foot condition that impacts people who are physically active or have occupations requiring them to be on their feet for long hours. Plantar fasciitis can last for months and become very frustrating to those suffering from it.
What is fascia? The fascia is called aponeurosis, which is a white fibrous tissue that is similar to a flattened tendon on the bottom of the foot. It is known to be an extension of the Achilles’ tendon to help propel us forward when we walk. Many factors can combine to create this injury. The onset of this injury is likely to include one or many factors such as overuse, lack of flexibility, lack of strength combined with improper footwear / lack of support. This is a very painful condition that our downtown Toronto chiropodist and podiatrist are experienced in treating.
When we stress our muscles we make micro tears to our tissues and with proper recovery they heal. This is a natural process of training. However, when the demands on the foot tissues are greater than the ability to repair, an injury happens . This is why it is very important to gradually scale up in duration or intensity of activity . Without slowly integrating the demands placed on the foot, the tissues may take on more load than they can tolerate and plantar fasciitis may arise. The same principle applies when returning back to training after injury, it is important to slowly scale back up in duration and intensity. In severe cases chronic plantar fasciitis may lead to a stress reaction in the heel.
How do we prevent overuse ?
By slowly increasing the duration and intensity of your activities. It is also important to include proper rest days and less intense days with a recovery routine to allow for tissues to heal and repair. If you are a runner, our chiropodist is an elite runner and has experience with elite coaches . If you need any advice on training to prevent your running injuries, or how to come back from one, she would love to help!
Flexibility and strength is interrelated. Sometimes a weak muscle may compensate by tightening up to meet the demands placed on it. The problem with this is that sometimes tightness is compensatory and the muscle works in ways it is not supposed to. Muscles attempt to tighten up to meet the demands placed on them or other muscles start to compensate and tightness is a result of improper function. This can lead to pain and injuries such as plantar fasciitis or tendonitis.
If we always use a muscle group and never stretch it, it can create imbalances in our bodies that contribute to deformity and structural changes . An example of this, is tight calf muscles from always walking or running. The calf muscles ( gastrocnemius and soleus), are always lifting body weight and with time, microtears can weaken or cause an imbalance. This can cause tightness / lack of flexibility to form. Without adequate stretching, flexibility will diminish. Our downtown chiropodist, Laura Desjardins is experienced in assessing which calf muscle is tight and which muscles are imbalanced and prescribe an appropriate rehab program based on your individual findings.
Support and footwear
Certain foot types can benefit from extra support, especially when battling a foot injury.A flatter foot type is one where the ankles may buckle in and the toes splay outward. This is called a pronated foot type. A certain amount of pronation in regular gait is required, but excessive amounts can lead to a torsion / twisting strain placed on the fascia band and cause plantar fasciitis. At our downtown Toronto chiropody and podiatry practice we encouraged strengthening the lower leg and foot and will help educate on a supportive shoe or orthotic to help control these forces.
If you would like to seek a well rounded approach to plantar fasciitis, our chiropodist Laura Desjardins will help guide you through a thorough rehabilitation plan. She is also experienced with soft tissue release and a well structured return to exercise plan. Orthotics are also an excellent tool utilized in the prevention and treatment of plantar fasciitis.
In summary, plantar fasciitis is a very frustrating injury one does not have to live with. In our practice, for severe chronic cases, we may refer you out to Platelet Rich Protein Injections or Cortisone Injections. These severe cases may require offloading with an air cast. This injury is not merely just a foot injury and structures above and below the site of injury should always be strengthened, rehabilitated and stretched . Here at Podiatry on Yonge at King, Laura Desjardins is on your team and will help you get through this !