If your first few steps out of bed each morning cause intense pain, you might suspect you have plantar fasciitis. It’s a common condition that causes heel pain and can make it hard to walk from Point A to Point B. It’s typically caused by inflammation of your plantar fascia, a thick band of tissue that connects the heel bone to the toes, and although it happens often to runners, the reality is that anyone can develop plantar fasciitis, including those with an abnormal gait.
Before you embark on any treatment plan, Dr. Dustin Hamoy, DPT, MTC, DNC, CKTP, CWCHP, first confirms that your symptoms are related to plantar fasciitis. During your evaluation, Dr. Hamoy reviews your symptoms, examines your foot, and may also take a look at your gait.
In the meantime, let’s explore the connection between abnormal gait patterns and plantar fasciitis and how seeking professional help from our team here at Precision Laser Joint and Spine Pain Center can provide effective pain-relief solutions.
Understanding plantar fasciitis
Before delving into the relationship between an abnormal gait and plantar fasciitis, let's first grasp the basics of this condition. Many people with plantar fasciitis describe it as a stabbing pain in their heel, particularly with your first few steps in the morning or after prolonged periods of rest.
Fascia is a sheath of stringy connective tissue that surrounds every part of your body, and your plantar fascia is no different. It’s a thick band of tissue that runs from your toes to your heel. Your plantar fascia can become inflamed with repetitive stress and strain, and the constant pressure can lead to microtears in the fibers of the fascia.
Plantar fasciitis and the connection to abnormal gait
The way you walk, or your gait, can have a significant impact on your feet and lower extremities, and the opposite is also true. Your feet can have a significant impact on your gait. It’s all part of your kinetic chain.
Your gait refers to how your entire body moves when you walk (or run), but anything that throws your chain out of balance is referred to as an abnormal gait. An abnormal gait places uneven stress on various parts of your foot, including the fascia on the bottom of your feet. Over time, this repetitive stress can contribute to the development of plantar fasciitis.
Abnormal gait issues may include:
Overpronation occurs when your foot rolls excessively inward while you walk or run. People with flat feet or fallen arches are more prone to overpronation, which can contribute to the development of plantar fasciitis.
On the other end of the spectrum is supination, which means that your foot rolls outward when you walk. Supination places excessive pressure on the outer edge of your foot. This creates an imbalance and places additional strain on your plantar fascia. Individuals with high arches are more likely to supinate.
Limb length discrepancy
When one leg is longer than the other, it can lead to an uneven distribution of weight and altered biomechanics. A noticeable difference in leg length 一 particularly anything greater than two centimeters一 can cause an abnormal gait, discomfort when walking, and a range of podiatric issues, including plantar fasciitis.
Explore your treatment options for abnormal gait and plantar fasciitis
Addressing an abnormal gait is crucial in managing and preventing plantar fasciitis effectively. At Precision Laser Joint and Spine Pain Center, Dr. Hamoy diagnoses and treats both the root cause of your abnormal gait and the resulting plantar fasciitis.
The experts at Precision Laser Joint and Spine Pain Center can perform a comprehensive gait analysis 一 an important part of physical therapy for plantar fasciitis 一 to assess your walking pattern and identify any abnormalities. By examining your foot mechanics, they can determine the underlying causes of your plantar fasciitis.
Physical therapy here in Glen Burnie, Maryland, can help improve your gait and, in turn, treat the root cause of your plantar fasciitis. Exercises and stretches can help strengthen your muscles, improve your flexibility, and correct gait abnormalities. These interventions can significantly contribute to your recovery and help prevent future episodes of plantar fasciitis.
Multiwave locked system (MLS®) laser therapy from ASA Laser won’t change your gait, but it can help alleviate the pain of plantar fasciitis. Together, with physical therapy, you can address your current symptoms and work to prevent future issues.
Foot pain? We can help!
If you’re suffering from plantar fasciitis, it’s important to consider the role of an abnormal gait in its development. By addressing the underlying gait abnormalities, such as overpronation or supination, through physical therapy, you can find relief from plantar fasciitis and regain your mobility and comfort.
Don't let an abnormal gait hold you back from enjoying an active and pain-free life. Reach out to Precision Laser Joint and Spine Pain Center today to take the first step toward treating your plantar fasciitis effectively. Call 659-204-5737 or click to get started.