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  • Jesse Lewis

How to Solve Plantar Fasciitis

Dealing with plantar fasciitis can be one of the most frustrating things to deal with. It feels like it will never go away and you start to dread every step you take for fear that that sharp pain will be there. If you haven’t checked out our recent blog on getting quick relief for plantar fasciitis, start here. There, we give some tips on how you can start to see some relief and see the light at the end of the tunnel that it will get better. In this blog, we want to give you the tools that you need to fix the problem for good.


Can Plantar Fasciitis Go Away?


One of the first questions we get is can plantar fasciitis even be fixed? Many of our clients think that it’s something they have to deal with in some way or another for the rest of their lives. It will be a chronic condition that they just have to manage. Nothing could be further from the truth! Plantar fasciitis is just like every other condition that we help people with. Once you are able to identify what’s causing the problem, it can be solved. We have had clients who have been dealing with plantar fasciitis for years who have been able to get back to running and even running more miles than they’ve ever run in their life.


What Is Plantar Fasciitis?


The first thing that’s important to understand is what plantar fasciitis is, and even what the plantar fascia is. Your plantar fascia is very thick connective tissue on the bottom of your foot that supports your foot when you put weight through it. It connects your heel to the ball of your foot. There is a lot of stress that goes through the bottom of your foot when you put weight through it. Plantar fasciitis is simply an irritation of this tissue. Treatment, then, involves getting your plantar fascia better able to handle all of the stress that goes through your foot when you walk, run, or put any weight through it.


Treatment for Plantar Fasciitis


Conventional treatment for plantar fascia involves taking stress off of the plantar fascia or stretching the plantar fascia. That is one of the reasons that plantar fascia can often be one of those “forever” injuries. Those two treatments might help in the short term, but usually not in the long term. Taking stress off of the plantar fascia is great at the beginning to get some relief, but that doesn’t mean it will then be able to handle the stress of your whole body weight when you go to run or walk. The key to getting rid of plantar fascia long term is to build up the ability of your foot to handle stress. Without this key missing piece, your plantar fascia will never be able to handle all of the stress it needs to. Think about a broken bone, when you first break a bone you put it into a cast to protect it. But, after a few weeks, you need to get out of the cast and put some stress through the bone to get it to heal completely. If you stay in a cast or protect it forever, the bone doesn’t heal properly. Your plantar fascia is the same. We need to put the right amount of stress through it to get it to heal properly.



Exercises for Plantar Fascia


At the beginning of plantar fasciitis, you’ll want to do exercises that take stress off of your plantar fasciitis, such as calf stretching or rolling on a tennis ball. Once the acute phase has passed (typically 1-3 weeks), it’s time to start working your foot a little more. Foot strengthening, calf strengthening, and general leg strengthening are great ways to start fixing your problem long term.


Here is one of our favorite group of exercises to start strengthening your feet and calves.


Then, once you’re able to strengthen without pain, it’s time to get that plantar fascia back to doing what it needs to do - take all the stress of your body weight.


This is where we find most people don’t get to and why plantar fasciitis can stick around for a long term. Without enough stress, the plantar fascia just doesn’t heal. Here is one of our absolute favorites to start getting your plantar fascia strong again.


What if It Still Isn’t Better?


We often have clients who have had plantar fascia and have tried many different treatments without any success. In this, it’s often something else in your body that’s part of the problem. We often find hip weakness, low back tightness, or some other issue somewhere else in the body that is preventing the foot from getting better. Once we take care of the other issue, the heel pain goes away almost immediately. If you’re still struggling with plantar fasciitis, our recommendation is to find someone who has experience and is an expert and will take the time to really take a deep dive into your issue.


If you’ve been struggling with heel pain and want to get rid of it faster, and for good, we’re here for you. We’ve helped hundreds of people with heel pain and get them back to walking, running, or any other activity they’ve wanted to get back to. We offer a free phone consultation with one of our experts to find out if you might be someone we can help as well. Just contact us here, text us “Heel Pain” to 202-922-7331 or email info@districtperformancephysio.com and we’ll be in touch soon.

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