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Plantar Fasciitis: Active Release is truly a different type of attack for Plantar issues

So tell me what I need to know about Plantar Fasciitis:

Lately we are seeing a number of Plantar Fasciitis patients presenting to our office for ART (Active Release Technique).  Patients are finding out from word of mouth and from other doctors that ART is highly effective in treating stubborn foot issues like Plantar Fasciitis.  Plantar Fasciitis is usually the worst in the early morning and patients commonly report that they “have to prepare themselves for those first couple of steps”.  Heel pain that is true Plantar Fasciitis comes from inflammation of the thick, band like tissue that connects the heel bone of your foot to the toes.  This tissue is called the plantar fascia.  Patients then report that as the morning goes on and they stretch out their feet, that the heel and mid foot pain decrease to a point of being able to carry out a normal day.  Commonly the things that inflame plantar fasciitis are standing for long periods of time and getting up quickly from an office chair.  Runners are also susceptible to plantar related issues and shoe selection for this population can be key in its treatment.

Plantar Fasciitis most commonly causes a stabbing pain in the bottom of your foot.  Most commonly this pain is just in front of your heel bone, however can be in the middle of the foot as well.  The job of the fascia is to absorb shock and transfer force when standing and walking.  The plantar fascia is a very thick and strong structure that can become inflamed and over time will relay that inflammation to your brain through sensing pain and tightness in the foot.  The plantar fascia is also avascular for the most part, meaning it has very limited blood supply, which further complicates the tissue because it heals slowly.

What can you do?

Patients often benefit from making notes about what their symptoms are because often it’s hard to remember or describe what you are feeling once you are being examined.  Bring the shoes with you that you most commonly wear because often times, Plantar Fasciitis can be greatly affected by the shoes you wear normally or work out in.  Lastly, be sure to let your doctor know what medications and supplements you are taking.

Why is ART (Active Release Technique) treatment different from what most other medical professionals are using? 

ART therapy has specific techniques for the treatment of the Plantar Fascia, Flexor Digitorum Brevis, Quadratus Plantae, Flexor Hallucis Brevis, Abductor Hallucis, Abductor Digiti Minimi, Lumbricals and Flexor Digiti Minimi Brevis.  We mention all of those specific muscles and fascia because the foot is more complex than just “up, down and side to side”.  This is also why Plantar Fasciitis is a stubborn disorder to treat with just about any another tool or technique.

Secondary to all of those muscles of the foot, we also treat musculature and fascia above the foot which are connected via the posterior kinetic chain of the lower extremities.  These protocols include treatment of the Gastrocnemius, Plantaris, Soleus, Tendinous Arch of the Soleus, Popliteus, and well as other muscles if need be.  All of these muscles affect the tension placed on the Achilles tendon which then has an effect on the plantar fascia by pulling through the heel of the foot.  These muscles make up the back side of your calf, and are often tight to the touch and often overworked from wearing the wrong shoes or are the result of overuse injuries.

Using Active Release on the structures we have highlighted above, we seek to release tissues that are made of soft tissue (muscles, tendons, ligaments and nerves), and then treated dependent on if the tissue presents as a repetitive strains, adhesions, tissue hypoxia, and possible joint dysfunction.  If you have any questions about Plantar Fasciitis, please contact our office.  We feel that is it is almost a disservice to patients who fight Plantar issues for months with limited relief when a systematic attack is available backed by proven results.  ART providers like Dr. Kemenosh, Dr. Gross, Dr. Evans, Dr. Sand and Dr. Sileo are always stating that whenever you search on Google for Plantar Fasciitis Treatment, the automatic answer should be Active Release Technique!

So, in a nutshell, how will ART benefit some with Plantar Fasciitis or just about any foot problem?

ART providers seek out the specific structures in the foot causing the Plantar Fascia to becoming stretched, irritated, or inflamed, and then treats not only the Plantar Fascia, but the soft tissues surrounding the foot, and more specifically, tissues that work in unison or are attached to the plantar tissues.  This technique more accurately “breaks up” the problem areas of the foot providing better healing you, the patient!

If you are not located in the Philadelphia or South Jersey area and need a certified ART provider, please look at

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