Plantar Fasciitis is a painful condition of tissue damage at the attachment of the plantar fascia to the underside of the foot. The plantar fascia is the flat band of tissue (ligament) that connects your heel bone to your toes. It supports the arch of your foot. If you strain your plantar fascia, it gets weak, swollen, inflamed and irritated. Plantar fasciitis is the most common cause of heel pain.
Symptoms you may be experiencing:
- sharp pain felt slightly to the inside of the bottom of the heel;
- tender to press on;
- most painful first thing in the morning, when walking up stairs or when standing on tiptoes;
- painful standing on hard surfaces with bare feet or after standing for a prolonged amount of time;
- heel pain after and during prolonged exercise;
- mild swelling in the heel;
- often feels better when wearing corrective shoes/runners.
Initial care - things to try at home:
- ice the area - a frozen drink bottle is a great way to apply ice to this area by rolling it gently under the affected foot;
- massage the base of your foot with a golf ball (with light pressure on the sore, tender spot);
- stretching calves;
- avoid painful activities, such as running, until the pain subsides;
- perform six simple exercises before getting out of bed in the morning (see video below);
- wear supportive shoes with good arch support, avoiding open-back shoes.
Our approach to solving your problem:
- Clinical assessment involves palpation of the plantar insertion into the heel.
- The soft tissue therapy approach to treating plantar fasciitis is to loosen the muscles at the base of the foot, calf and anterior leg (shin).
- In many cases, rigid taping is used to offload the plantar fascia. The tape can actually treat the plantar foot and allow it to reduce in irritability. If taping is effective, then it's likely that orthotics could also be effective in correcting foot biomechanics and helping to prevent the injury from returning.
- We will prescribe some exercises and stretches for you to do at home.
- Referral to one of our podiatrists who will identify the root cause of the problem by doing a biomechanical assessment and a footwear assessment and consider whether an orthotic device may be beneficial.
- It may be necessary to be referred for scans to rule out more sinister pathologies.
We will then create a management plan specific to you to:
- help settle the pain;
- reduce inflammation;
- identify the biomechanical dysfunction;
- strengthen the plantar fascia;
- address the causative factors to prevent recurrence;
- get you back to the activities that you enjoy!
If you would like one of our Soft Tissue Therapists or Podiatrists to help resolve your plantar fasciitis, give us a call on 9894 2463 or book online to make an appointment.