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Can Plantar Fasciitis Cause Back Pain?


Millions of people worldwide suffer from plantar fasciitis, a condition that manifests as a sharp, stabbing pain in the heel. This pain can be debilitating, making every step a challenge. But what many may not realize is that plantar fasciitis can have implications beyond the feet, potentially leading to back pain. Understanding this connection is crucial for those seeking relief and a return to their daily activities without discomfort.

What is Plantar Fasciitis?



Plantar fasciitis is a condition characterized by inflammation of the plantar fascia, the thick band of tissue that runs across the bottom of your foot and connects your heel bone to your toes. This inflammation is often due to overuse, improper footwear, or excessive weight, leading to sharp, stabbing pain in the heel, especially with the first steps in the morning or after periods of rest.

Symptoms of plantar fasciitis include a deep, achy pain in the heel or the bottom of the foot, which may worsen after exercise but not during it. People with plantar fasciitis may also experience stiffness and reduced mobility in the affected foot.

How Can Plantar Fasciitis Lead to Back Pain?

The relationship between plantar fasciitis and back pain lies in the biomechanics of our bodies. Our feet are the foundation that supports the alignment and balance of our entire body. When there is pain in the foot, like with plantar fasciitis, it can lead to changes in how we walk (our gait) and our posture. This adaptation can put additional strain on muscles and joints up the kinetic chain, including the back, leading to back pain.

Conversely, existing back pain can also alter our posture and gait in a way that puts extra stress on the feet, potentially causing or exacerbating plantar fasciitis. The muscles and ligaments in our back, hips, and legs are interconnected; when back muscles are strained or tight, they can pull on the hips and legs, affecting the pressure distribution on our feet.

Diagnosing the Link Between Plantar Fasciitis and Back Pain

Healthcare professionals, including podiatrists, orthopedists, and physical therapists, play a vital role in diagnosing the relationship between plantar fasciitis and back pain. Diagnosis typically involves a physical examination, patient history, and sometimes imaging tests like X-rays or MRIs to assess the extent of the plantar fasciitis and identify any related back issues. Accurate diagnosis is essential for effective treatment, highlighting the importance of consulting with specialists experienced in treating both conditions.

Treatment Options for Plantar Fasciitis and Associated Back Pain

Treatment for plantar fasciitis and associated back pain varies from surgical and non-surgical treatments but can include:

  • Physical Therapy: Custom exercises strengthen foot, leg, and core muscles, improving posture and reducing compensatory back strain. Therapists also enhance mobility and teach movement adjustments.
  • Orthotics: Custom shoe inserts address biomechanical foot issues, evenly distributing pressure to improve gait and lessen lower back stress.
  • SoftWave Therapy: This non-invasive method uses unfocused shockwave technology for plantar fasciitis to promote healing and reduce inflammation in the plantar fascia. This therapy stimulates cells for tissue regeneration, offering significant pain relief and recovery without surgery or drugs, presenting a compelling alternative to traditional treatments.
  • Lifestyle Modifications: Adjustments like weight loss, choosing supportive footwear, and activity changes alleviate plantar fascia stress and back pain, preventing future issues.
  • Medications: Anti-inflammatory drugs offer quick pain and inflammation relief for both foot and back, used alongside other treatments.
  • Surgery: For severe cases or when spinal issues exacerbate back pain, surgery can release the plantar fascia or correct spinal conditions.
  • Acupuncture and Massage: These therapies relieve muscle tension and improve circulation, beneficial for plantar fasciitis and back pain sufferers by promoting overall pain reduction and healing.

Preventing Plantar Fasciitis and Back Pain

Preventing Plantar Fasciitis and Back Pain


Preventing plantar fasciitis and back pain involves a holistic approach, focusing on lifestyle and ergonomic adjustments to support overall health and well-being. Here are essential tips:

  • Stretch and Strengthen Regularly: Focus on calf muscles and foot arch exercises. Yoga and Pilates can also improve flexibility and core strength to mitigate back pain.
  • Choose Supportive Footwear: Opt for shoes with good arch support and cushioning. Avoid high heels and poorly supported footwear if you stand or walk much.
  • Maintain a Healthy Weight: Keeping weight in check reduces strain on your feet and back, helping prevent pain.
  • Breaks and Stretches are Essential: For jobs involving long periods of sitting or standing, take breaks to stretch or walk, reducing back pressure and preventing plantar fascia tightening.
  • Good Posture Matters: Maintain a straight back and shoulders back. Proper posture lessens back strain and promotes a healthy gait.
  • Ergonomic Furniture: Invest in an ergonomic chair and set up your workstation to encourage good posture, with the computer screen at eye level.
  • Consider Custom Orthotics: For extra foot support, especially if prone to plantar fasciitis, custom orthotics can be beneficial.

The Best Shockwave Therapy for Plantar Fasciitis

Are you looking for safe, reliable, and effective relief from plantar fasciitis? 

SoftWave therapy is FDA-cleared, patented, and nationally recognized for its leading tissue regeneration technology. Unlike other types of high-energy shockwave treatments, SoftWave is the only shockwave therapy on the market that uses true unfocused shock waves that treat larger and deeper areas of tissue. 

Thousands of patients have experienced the benefits of SoftWave for plantar fasciitis, including:

  • Little to no side effects
  • Short treatment time
  • Quick recovery
  • Long-lasting results

Find a SoftWave Therapy provider near you or learn more about SoftWave and whether or not you’re eligible for full treatment today!

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