Step into Summer with Ease
Flip-flop season is upon us – and while that might herald long and leisurely days spent playing outside – it can also wreak havoc on our heels if we don’t ease into our new summer shoes and keep our feet strong and limber as the days get warmer.
Plantar Fasciitis is one of the most prevalent injuries we see across our patients, and we know it can cause a lot of pain, sometimes chronic, under the heel. The discomfort is caused by micro-tears and inflammation to the ligament on the bottom of the foot that attaches the heel bone to the base of the toes. Thankfully, working closely and consistently with a physiotherapist to re-train the body’s systems can successfully ease - and sometimes completely heal - your pain.
Plantar Fasciitis can be particularly uncomfortable in the mornings, or after long periods of resting or sitting. This is because while you’re resting or sleeping the shortened, stiff, and tight tissues in the foot try to heal themselves – and then are suddenly subjected to weight bearing when you get up, when they’re usually they’re still in that short, tight state. To this end, stretching the feet and calves before doing anything else in the morning can make a huge difference.
Unfortunately, there are some people who are more at risk than others for Plantar Fasciitis: those between ages 40 and 60, for example, as well as runners, dancers, and other athletes. That said, even just people who spend a lot of time on their feet – at work, for example – have the potential to develop the condition. Not only that, but flat feet, high arches, and abnormal weight distribution on the foot can all put the plantar fascia under extra stress, as well.
However, sometimes Plantar Fasciitis is preventable, and these cases often crop up in the spring and summer. After a winter of wearing comfortable, supportive shoes, and enjoying a little more rest and less activity, it can be a shock to our feet to suddenly be on the go all the time – often in very flat flip-flops or sandals that offer little to no support. This abrupt transition to more weight-bearing can put extra stress and strain on the plantar fascia before it’s had a chance to strengthen and prepare for its new summer workload.
To prevent, or ease, plantar fasciitis, it’s a great idea to invest in higher-quality sandals that offer added arch and metatarsal support. It may seem like an extravagance, but it can save you from discomfort later!
If, though, Plantar Fasciitis has already developed and is causing you pain, it might be time to call Creekside. We can offer you a healing program that will treat symptoms and get to the root cause of the issue, so that you can regain optimism about your recovery and healing program. The most popular modality we use for Plantar Fasciitis is Extracorporeal Shockwave Therapy. While it can take a handful of appointments to fully heal your Plantar Fasciitis, we’ve had so many patients find success through this treatment.
Extracorporeal shockwave therapy – which was approved by the FDA to treat Plantar Fasciitis in 2000 – uses pneumatic (or pressurized air) technology to induce a tiny micro-trauma at the affected spot, which can initiate a healing response in the body. It can increase delivery of nutrients to the area, and improve blood vessel formation.
Our patients often report pain relief after a couple of treatments – which is always great to see! But it goes beyond that: because shockwave therapy decreases inflammation, it also decreases chances of the condition flaring up again. The effects are often deep-healing and long-lasting.
If it sounds intimidating – (shocks? No thank you!) – there’s actually no reason to fret. While some patients do report a little bit of pain during the first couple treatments, most people find relief as the ongoing pain they’ve been dealing with begins to finally dissipate. In addition to the shockwave treatments, your physiotherapist will give you stretches and exercises to do at home: this combination of treatments can speed and enhance your recovery, and successfully heals Plantar Fasciitis in about 75% of cases.
We want you to be on your feet, running around, and enjoying all that the East Kootenay summer has to offer. So, in order to do that, ditch those dollar-store flip flops (or ease into them, at least!) and give the team at Creekside a call if you’re dealing with Plantar Fasciitis. Let’s make this summer the easiest, most care-free, and most pain-free one yet!