What is plantar fasciitis?
Plantar fasciitis is the inflammation of the soft tissue lining on the sole of the foot known as the plantar fascia.
The tissue extends from the heel bone, through the arch of the foot to reach the toes. Its function is to help support the arch of the foot, preventing it from flattening.
In some people micro tears may develop, due to several reasons, which may coincide with the development of heel pain and inflammation. It is one the most common reasons for heel pain and is typically an overuse injury.
Why do I get plantar fasciitis?
Plantar fasciitis can develop for a number of reasons and is often associated with impact and running sports especially those requiring a lot of toe push off/ landing. Other factors that may cause plantar fasciitis include:
- Poor foot mechanics – flat arches, weak muscular control of arch (calf muscles, small muscles within the foot)
- Extreme flat or high arches
- Decreased core strength
- Tight calf muscles
- Traumatic event – e.g. landing on sharp object
- Other risk factors
- Weight gain
- Unaccustomed activity
- Inadequate footwear
- Increased time on feet
Signs and symptoms of plantar fasciitis
Commonly people with plantar fasciitis report pain in the arch or under heel of their foot which is noticeably worse in the morning or after resting. The pain often eases within the first few steps of walking and returns after sitting. As it progresses pain may be more frequent and persistent through activity.
Physio Treatment for Plantar Fasciitis
Plantar fasciitis is a very treatable condition and you can return to your pain-free, full-functioning self. Majority of people notice significant improvement in pain within first couple of months.
Depending on your situation, treatment will include things like:
- De-loading by reducing your total activity, providing taping for support, and adjusting footwear as needed
- Gradually strengthening the tissues through a structured strength program
- Pain relief modalities such as ice and massage for the calf and foot
- Support such as shoe inserts, taping, and addressing footwear
Each person is unique, and each plantar fasciitis presentation is unique, so it’s important to be properly assessed so you can understand the best path forwards. This will give you the best chance of a fast recovery
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