Hannah grew up in Petoskey and was home schooled by her parents. She graduated with an Associate of Arts Degree from North Central Michigan College and was awarded to "The All USA Academic Team" in 2011. Hannah also is a Leader of the Young Life Campus Group at North Central Michigan College. She continued her education at Finlandia University with a degree as a Physical Therapy Assistant in 2012. Hannah enjoys bike riding, hiking and most activities northern Michigan lifestyle has to offer.
My Feet are Killing Me!
Do you have a pain in your heel? It might just be a common musculoskeletal disorder that affects the heel and arch of the foot called plantar fasciitis.
Plantar fasciitis is sometimes caused by overuse, meaning it can occur after a sudden increase in activity or exercise levels. It may also pop up after a recent weight gain or a drastic change in footwear or walking surface.
Plantar fasciitis pain is often brought on by long periods of standing or walking, or after your first few steps in the morning after getting out of bed. Recent studies have looked at the various interventions and treatment methods provided by physical therapists to determine which could be the most effective to help relieve your heel pain.
These four interventions have been determined to have strong evidence in favor of their use:
1. The first intervention is manual therapy, or hands-on therapy, to the foot and ankle. This technique increases the flexibility of the muscles in your foot, ankle, and calf.
2. Active stretching of the calf and ankle muscles has also been shown to improve flexibility of the ankle and arch of the foot. Along with stretches, strengthening exercises for the ankle, calf, and hip muscles have been proven to helpful. These exercises will ensure that your foot and ankle are strong enough to support the plantar fascia when walking, running, or climbing stairs.
3. The third intervention supported by research is to optimize foot alignment via taping or orthotics will help maintain the foot in a better position. If taping your foot helps your symptoms and alignment, orthotics may be a next step to ensure that your foot will stays aligned during your daily activities.
4. For those with plantar fasciitis who experience pain first thing in the morning, a night splint may be recommended. A splint provides a gentle stretch to the plantar fascia and Achilles tendon while you are sleeping, thereby decreasing the pain of those first few steps in the morning.
In conclusion, there are a variety of treatment options for plantar fasciitis that will assist you in putting your best foot forward. If you think you have plantar fasciitis, call one of our offices to schedule a free consultation and discuss your heel pain with one of our physical therapists.