Plantar Fasciitis

Plantar Fasciitis is the inflammation of / microtrauma of, a thick, fibrous band of tissue that is found under the foot. It inserts at a small bony outcropping of heel bone (the medical tubercle of the calcaneus) and stretches the length of the foot to the forefoot area.  When you bend your toes back, you will be able to feel this structure as a tight band running down you inner arch of your foot.

Symptoms of Plantar Fasciitis

  • Pain at the base of the heel or along the arch of the foot.
  • Pain that is worse first thing in the morning on getting out of bed or after sitting and resting for a while.

Causes of Plantar Fasciitis

  •  Irritiation of the fascia by footwear / stress or tension
  • Tight calf muscles and tight achilles tendons
  • Over-pronation (rolling in of the feet – otherwise known as flat feet)
  •  A sudden increase in exercise
  • Working / spending large amounts of time walking or standing on hard floors
  • Poorly supporting footwear
  • A highly arched / rigid foot

Plantar Fasciitis Treatment

  • Anti-inflammatories – either tablet or anti-inflammatory gel topically.
  • Cold therapy – rolling the foot on a cold can of coke or ice-cold bottle of water. Alternatively, an ice pack or frozen packet of peas to rest the heels on for 5 mins post-work / exercise
  • Stretching exercises for both the feet and the calf muscles
  • Micro-massage of the affected area using the thumb – small circular motions (pic)
  • Plantar fasciitis socks – can be found on many large online stores (help to support the foot structure
  • Good supportive footwear – preferably NOT slip-on. Trainers are ideal.
  • Self-referral to Physiotherapy may be necessary.  Ultrasound can help the condition to resolve
  • Corticosteroid injections MAY ultimately be necessary but should be avoided until all other treatment methods have been exhausted.

It is important to note this condition comes on very gradually and will take a similar length of time to subside.  Resolution of this issue usually depends on incorporating several treatment methods.

Plantar Fasciitis may also be confused with or complicated by a heel spur. This is a condition that may lead to surgery being necessary

Ref: Arthritis Research UK

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