A thick band of tissue is located in the foot, running across the bottom the foot and connecting the heel bone to the toes. When this tissue becomes inflamed, stabbing pain can result, usually felt in the heel. This is known as plantar fasciitis. The pain associated with this condition is most often felt first thing in the morning, or after spending a long period of time on your feet. In many cases, as the day goes on, the pain decreases. However, walking, standing or even sitting for extended periods of time often cause its return.
Runners are susceptible to this injury as well as those who are overweight or pregnant. Many times this condition can also be the result of wearing shoes with inadequate foot support.
Physical therapy treatments for this condition can include specific stretching exercises for the foot and calf as well as modalities to relieve pain. Ice and ultrasound can often decrease the inflammation and provide short-term pain relief. A recommendation for special footwear or orthotics to be used in the shoes may also be given.
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