Plantar fasciitis is a common condition of the foot that affects around 10% of us as some point in our lives. The plantar fascia is a strong band of ligamentous-like tissue that runs from your heel and stretches out to the mid-foot, its primary role is to support the arch of the foot and it also acts as a shock-absorber during impact. If there is any excess tension through the plantar fascia, micro-trauma (small tears) can begin to occur which leads to irritation and pain.
• Overuse- repetitive strain such as those who partake in long distance running.
• Sports which involve a sudden stretch of the sole- Sprinting from starting blocks on track.
• Sedentary lifestyle (especially women).
• Acute trauma
• Change of running habits- different road surface for example.
• Inappropriate footwear- poor cushioning or lack of arch support.
• Flattened arches (Over-pronation).
• Tight plantar flexors (Muscles that point your toes) and weak dorsi-flexors (Muscles that bring your toes towards your shin).
• Reduced ankle movement.
• Age- development of bony protrusions called heel spurs
• Leg length Inequality
Signs and symptoms
Pain is the primary symptom, usually felt at the attachment point on the base of the foot at the heel; however, the pain can extend further into the mid-foot.
• Pain is usually of a sharp nature.
• Pain is often worse following a sudden stretch of the foot, for example, The first few steps of the day or following long periods of rest when no weight has been placed through the foot.
• Gentle exercise or walking usually eases the pain, however, extended periods can aggravate the pain.
• Resting initially eases the pain.
• 70% of cases are unilateral (one foot), however can occur in both feet at the same time.
• Often described as the feeling of walking on pebbles.
• Reduced Dorsi-flexion- The ability to bring your heel towards your shin.
• Avoid intense exercise (to avoid rupturing the plantar fascia)
• RICE- Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation
• Anti-inflammatory medication- Please consult with your GP
• Manipulation to increase the range of movement at the ankle complex.
• Soft tissue massage.
• Orthotics or padded insertions into your shoes.
• Dry needling/ Acupuncture.
• Weight loss.
• Stretching and strengthening your lower leg muscles.
If you are suffering with plantar fasciitis or any time of foot pain. I can help.
Please feel free to ring me to discuss treatment on 07727 666312