Plantar fasciitis is a painful inflammatory condition caused by excessive strain to the plantar fascia of the foot

Plantar = the sole of the foot
Fascia = thick connective tissue
Itis = Inflammation

The pain usually is felt on the underside of the heel, and is often most intense with the first steps of the day.

The pain that is experienced can often be described as ‘a hot poker through the bottom of the foot’. It is commonly associated with long periods of weight bearing.

If ongoing this condition may also result in a heel spur on the calcaneus (heel bone).

Groups at risk of developing planar fasciitis:

  • Middle aged men and women – most common in people >45 years

  • Athletes undergoing heavy training – particularly runners and jumpers

  • People who are very overweight or obese

  • Women during pregnancy

  • People who are on their feet for long periods of time

  • Children aged between eight and 13 years

Causes:

  • Poor foot biomechanics – particularly excessive foot pronation (rolling in)

  • Weight gain – recent weight gain may place more stress through plantar fascia

  • Work surfaces – jobs that require a lot of standing/walking on hard surfaces

  • Footwear – shoes with poor or no arch support

  • Changes in training – increased toe running, speed of running or hill running can add stress to the feet

How you can help your plantar fasciitis:

  • Rest the foot as much as possible

  • Avoid jogging, running, and excess standing. Substitute weight -bearing exercises with activity that places less stress on the injured ligament such as cycling or swimming.

  • Apply ice to the tender area a least twice daily to reduce inflammation.

  • Try rolling the arch of the foot over a tennis ball

  • Regular stretching to the foot and leg – as prescribed by your myotherapist

  • Consult your GP or pharmacist about the possibility of taking some anti-inflammatory medication to reduce pain and inflammation

How A&B Myotherapy can help:

  • Assessment of muscle imbalances in the foot, lower leg, knee and hip.

  • Soft tissue massage to the foot and lower leg muscles

  • Dry Needling

  • Prescription of flexibility and strengthening exercises

  • Appropriate referral if symptoms persist