At my Columbia chiropractic office, I see patients on a daily basis that have plantar fasciitis. They are typically runners, with teachers being the most common profession I see with foot pain. One of the first things I address with these people is the function of their core. Your core muscles control the stabilization of your pelvis, sacroiliac joints, and low back. If the core is weak, the pelvis isn’t stabilized, and you get changes affecting your knee and foot.
These changes can affect the way your foot strikes the ground. Typically, with ground strike, the arch in your foot, including the plantar fascia, helps position your foot in a good position to take stress off the tendons crossing your ankle, but also controls the foot to push off between your first and second toes.
So how is this related to your core? Let’s take, for example, weak hip abductors, or the muscles on the side of your glutes that bring your leg out to the side. If the left side is weak, your left leg has a tendency to “cave in”. This causes your left leg to rotate inwards, which causes your foot to strike the ground more pronated. More pronation means more strain on the arch, and eventually, the arch will fail and you will get foot pain.
Doing simple exercises that strengthen the core will help to prevent this inward rotating of your leg, and consequently the increased pronation of your foot. Things like bridges, sideline hip abduction, and prone hip extension will all help to stabilize the core.
Plantar fasciitis can require a very complex evaluation to really nail down the cause. Things like gait analysis, core function, the type of shoe, the surface you run on,, etc, will all contribute to the problem.