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Plantar Fasciitis


Signs + Synptoms, What you can do Ever taken those first steps in the morning and felt severe pain in the heel of your foot? If so, then it’s possible you may have Plantar Fasciitis.

What Is Plantar Fasciitis?
One of the heel’s function is to absorb the shock of the foot striking the ground and start the spring as you step forward. Plantar Fasciitis is an overuse injury affecting the plantar fascia on the sole of your foot. Inflammation occurs in the thin layer of tough tissues (plantar fascia) that supports the arch of your foot. This usually happens where it is attached to the heel bone but may also occur in the mid-part of the foot.

What are the Causes & Who does it Affect?

Some of the most common causes include:
• Being overweight.
• Sudden change in activity level.
• Any injury that causes a strain on the Plantar Fascia.
• Being on your feet constantly or standing on hard surfaces for long periods of time.
• Having tight calf muscles which affect the mobility of your ankles.
• Flat feet or high arches.
• Unsuitable shoes for the required activity.
• Arthritis in the ankle or heel joint.
• Poor running technique or biomechanical conditions.
What are the Signs & Symptoms?
• Pain that begins gradually with mild pain at the heel bone.
• Pain in the heel or arch of the foot when putting weight on the foot.
• Pain that is worse first thing in the morning or after a period of rest and may be present at night.
• Pain in the heel or mid-arch on toe extension (pulling your toes towards you).
• Pain when standing on tip toes.
• Pain made worse by activity such as climbing stairs, walking or running.


What can you do ?

There are various treatment options available to you. It is more effective to form a treatment plan with your Doctor or Physical Therapist. Plantar Fasciitis can take anything between 1 month and 18 months to completely heal.
Rest- to reduce the stress and inflammation by reducing weight and avoiding high impact activity on hard surfaces.

Ice – Apply ice to the sore area for 20 minutes, 3 or 4 times a day. Use a bag of frozen peas with a wet towel between the skin and peas. Never apply an ice pack directly on the skin. Roll a frozen plastic bottle of water under a wet towel under the sole of foot.

Medical Intervention – This is agreed with your Doctor. Surgery is rarely required but there are less invasive options which may be recommended such as anti-inflammatories or steroidal injection.

Physical Therapy – Uses soft tissue and friction techniques to reduce adhesions in the tissues; Mobilisation of the foot joints to reduce stiffness; and treatment to the lower leg muscles to increase circulation and reduce muscle spasm. Taping may be applied to the foot to decrease stress through the plantar fascia or support the arch. A home care programme is agreed with you, which may include some of the Lower Body Stretch Programme particularly calf muscle stretches.

Barefoot Running?

Research shows that in theory at least the relatively new phenomenon of barefoot running (barefoot running shoes) offers significant biomechanical advantages to shod running, some of which may decrease the causative factors in plantar fasciitis.
More on barefoot running coming soon.

Fionnuala Corcoran. P.TH, M.TH, Dip. Reflexology, FCA, PGDHE
Physical Therapist M.I.A.P.T
Tel: 087 2848409
Kilcock Therapy
71 Royal Meadows Kilcock Co. Kildare
Email: [email protected]