Yes, PT can treat PF!

Plantar Fasciitis is one of the most common causes of heel pain affecting 1 out of every 10 people over a lifetime.

It is described as having a sharp, stabbing type pain on the bottom of your foot. Most commonly felt right underneath the heel, although it can be felt under the entire length of the foot. Pain is typically felt most in the morning when you take your first few steps after getting out of bed. Pain may also arise during prolonged periods of standing or sitting. You may also feel pain after exercising, but not during.

This condition may arise out of nowhere with no real mechanism of injury. Plantar fasciitis is considered a repetitive stress injury that causes irritation and/or inflammation of the fascia due to the constant loading of the foot while we walk.  A common denominator found with most cases of Plantar Fasciitis is having a tight heel cord (Achilles tendon). This is accompanied by a lack of dorsiflexion of the ankle (moving your toes towards your shin). This lack of flexibility may place extra stress on the fascia of the foot because it cannot move adequately along the foot. I have added a few exercises at the end you can try to give yourself some relief.  Also, try to avoid walking bare foot or in flip-flops as they do not give sufficient support to the soles/arches of your feet.

There are some risk factors involved that may put you at risk for developing Plantar Fasciitis.

Age: Plantar Fasciitis most commonly affects people between the ages of 40 and 60.

Occupation: People who spend a lot of time on their feet. Factory or construction workers, teachers and other jobs that require being on your feet for long hours may be predisposed to plantar fasciitis.

Foot Mechanics: Persons with flat feet or high arches are predisposed due to how your weight is distributed, increasing the stress that may be placed on the fascia under the foot.

Obesity: Excess weight also places extra stress of the fascia under the foot.

Exercise: Certain exercises such as distance running, dancing (ballet or aerobic) or explosive jumping activities.

So what is your plantar fascia?

It is a thick, fibrous tissue that runs from your heel to your toes that helps to support the arch of the foot and acts as a shock absorber of sorts. The average person takes about 6,000 steps a day. That’s 3,000 on each foot a day. With each step, the plantar fascia supports 2 times your body weight. If you weigh 150lbs, that’s 300lbs per step, times 3,000 steps equal 450 tons of pressure per foot. That’s the equivalent of a fully loaded cement truck!!!  That is a lot of stress that gets put through your feet each day. If you are 200lbs or more that number is significantly higher.

When it comes to treatment, most people tend to ignore it until it goes away. In some cases, this condition will heal itself with rest and gentle stretching. Foot orthotics is another possible way to treat Plantar Fasciitis. Unfortunately for some, it does not go away on its own and can stick around for 6 months to a year or more. The longer this condition goes untreated, the more it will likely affect your activity levels. It can affect the way you walk, leading to other possible issues like knee or hip pain and even back pain in some cases.

Try these simple exercises to see if they can give you any relief.

Gastrocnemius Stretch


  • Begin in a standing upright position in front of a wall.


  • Place your hands on the wall and extend one leg straight backward, bending your front leg, until you feel a stretch in the calf of your back leg and hold.


  • Make sure to keep your heels on the ground and back knee straight during the stretch.


Soleus Stretch


  • Begin in a standing upright position in front of a wall.


  • Place your hands on the wall and extend one leg backward with your knee bent. Lean forward into the wall, until you feel a stretch in your lower calf and hold.


  • Make sure to keep your heels on the ground and back knee bent during the stretch.

Ball Rolling


  • Begin sitting in a chair with your foot resting on a small ball. (Tennis, Golf ball)


  • Gently roll the middle of your foot forward and backward over the ball, in between the ball of your foot and your heel.


  • Make sure to use just enough pressure that you feel a stretch but no pain.
  • You may also use a cold bottle or can for added relief.

If you are experiencing any symptoms that are causing you to change the way you move, don’t hesitate to make an appointment with your physician or give us a call at Back in Motion to set up a Free Pain Consultation to talk with one of our highly skilled physical therapists so they can lead you down the path to becoming pain free again!

Andy Broomhall

Physical Therapist Assistant

Portland Gym Supervisor

Learn More About

Wrist Pain

Your content goes here. Edit or remove this text inline or in the module Content settings. You can also style every aspect of this content in the module Design settings and even apply custom CSS to this text in the module Advanced settings.

Related Articles 

Sorry, No Posts Found