Plantar fasciitis can be very stubborn and eventually become a chronic problem. That’s not to say that many of these cases don’t resolve on their ownin just a few weeks, they definitely do! But if symptoms persist longer than a month or two, typically the recovery time is prolonged due to the repetitive strain continually being placed on the plantar fascia.
Pain is a warning light that something is off, it’s like the check engine light that comes on when something is going on with your car. Pushing through the pain is a no-no with plantar fasciitis because it creates more microtrauma (tiny tears in the tissue) which prevents proper healing. It’s not the time to turn the radio up a little louder!
Initially, if the pain is severe it may be necessary to ice 3-4 times a day and avoid provoking activities like running altogether. It doesn’t have to be forever but giving the plantar fascia some time off and slowing down the irritation will help in the healing process.
It’s important to eventually transition into strengthening exercises but the soft tissues and stretching exercises need to be addressed first. A multi-faceted approach is used for the soft tissues and may include: Active Release Technique, Instrument assisted techniques, manipulation, mobilization, taping, and dry needling.
Orthotics may also be considered to give the best support for your foot. No two feet are the same so this should be as specific as possible to fit the mold of your feet!
Stretching the calves and plantar fascia multiple times throughout the day is essential! This will help reduce the tension, strain, and microtrauma being placed on these tissues.
Once the irritation and pain levels begin to fall, specific strengthening exercises will help fully resolve the issue and lessen the likelihood of reoccurrence. Paying attention to detail and focusing on what you’re trying to accomplish (not just going through the motions) will provide the best benefits. The foot can be tricky and can compensate in many different ways… we don’t want that.
All in all, we’re here to provide you with the best tools to get you back to doing what you love most!
Dr. Ryan Donahue was born and raised in Sioux City, IA. He attended the University of Iowa where he received a bachelor’s degree in Health and Human Physiology before graduating Magna Cum Laude from Northwestern Health Sciences University as a Doctor of Chiropractic. Dr. Donahue is a Certified Provider of Active Release Technique, RockTape kinesiology tape, and SMART Tools (Instrument Assisted Soft Tissue Mobilization). He has also had extensive post graduate training in various treatment and rehabilitation approaches that include McKenzie Mechanical Diagnosis and Therapy and Dynamic Neuromuscular Stabilization (DNS).