Plantar Fasciitis

Plantar fasciitis is a condition in which the plantar fascia, a thick band of tissue along the arch of the foot, undergoes inflammatory and degenerative changes. The pain is most commonly felt over the heel aspect of the bottom of the foot, and is most intense on initial weight bearing in the morning. Plantar fasciitis is often associated with long periods of standing, such as retail staff, and with a high body max index (BMI). It also occurs in athletes who participate in running and jumping based sports such as netball, basketball and running.

Common Symptoms

  • Pain on the undersurface of the heel in one or both feet
  • Pain worse with first few steps in the morning, then gradually improves
  • Pain worsens with prolonged standing, walking or running
  • Tight calf and Achilles complex
  • Pain when pressing on the inside of the heel

Common Causes

There is no one single cause of plantar fasciitis, but common contributing factors include;

  • Tight calf muscles
  • Over-pronated feet (feet that roll inwards)
  • Standing or walking for prolonged periods, particularly in unsupportive footwear
  • High Body Mass Index
  • Repetitive running

Self Management

  • Rest from prolonged standing, walking or running
  • Apply an ice pack to the inside of the heel regularly
  • Wear supportive footwear such as running shoes

Physiotherapy Management

The physiotherapist will perform a comprehensive assessment to identify any contributing factors, and tailor a management plan to your specific needs. Common treatment techniques include;

  • Manual therapy such as massage, dry needling and myofascial release to loosen tight structures.
  • Taping and/or custom orthotics to correct foot posture
  • The physiotherapist may recommend use of a night splint, or heel raise in your shoe
  • A home exercise program of stretches, strengthening and proprioceptive exercises will be implemented
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