What is it?
Plantar Fasciitis is irritation and inflammation of your plantar fascia. The plantar fascia is a band of thick tissue on the bottom of your foot, that
starts at your heel bone, runs along the edge of your foot, all the way to the bottom of your toes. It is there to help support the arch of your foot
and to shock absorb when you are putting weight through your feet.
Do I have Plantar Fasciitis?
If you experience any of the following symptoms it’s likely you do:
• Heel pain – especially with your first steps in the morning or after long periods of rest.
• Limping or walking on your toes to avoid placing weight through the heel.
• Pain gets worse if in bare feet, on hard surfaces or after standing for long periods.
How common is it?
Plantar Fasciitis is the most common foot condition we see. 10% of the population will personally experience this condition in their life time. It is particularly common amongst runners, accounting for 8% of all running injuries.
There are many factors that put you at a higher risk. Here are a few…
• Tightness in your calf muscles.
• Excessive pronation of your foot (if your foot rolls inwards when you walk).
• A sudden increase in activity levels e.g. taking up running, or starting marathon training.
• Foot wear without support or cushioning around the heel e.g. flip flops or fashion sandals.
• Being overweight.
• Gender – females are more likely to experience this condition.
• Age – 40-60 years old.
How can we help?
Physiotherapy is the first line of treatment for Plantar Fasciitis. You’ll be encouraged to hear that 90% of cases are successfully resolved with conservative treatment. 80% of those make a complete recovery within a year. Your therapist will listen to the history of your heel pain, perform a thorough hands on assessment, and then discuss your tailored treatment plan with you.
What Physiotherapy treatment can help?
• REST! – the first thing your therapist will discuss with you is what activities in your life aggravate your pain. It is important to rest from these.
• Icing the heel.
• Footwear – if appropriate your footwear will be assessed and discussions regarding insoles will take place.
• Manual therapy – mobilisation of the foot and ankle joints and soft tissue release.
• Exercise therapy – you will have homework to strengthen and stretch your plantar fascia.
• Radial Shockwave Therapy.