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Have you ever woken in the morning and those first few steps are particularly sore, or have you exercised and felt your heel flare up forcing you to stop? If you so you may be suffering from plantar fasciitis.
The plantar fascia is the thick band of tissue that runs across the bottom of your foot and connects your heel bone to your toes. It can frequently become inflamed and is a common source of heel pain.
Plantar fasciitis commonly results from activities which require increased loading on the foot, which include but not limited to continuous running, hopping and jumping activities. It is very common for people on their feet all day or patients that have high arches or flat feet.
What is Plantar Fasciitis?
- The plantar fascia is a broad, fibrous band of tissue between the heel and the base of the toes that helps support the arch of the foot
- The plantar fascia plays an important role in normal foot biomechanics during gait
- If the plantar fascia becomes inflamed it can cause heel pain
- One study has estimated that the plantar fascia is responsible for carrying up to 14% of the total load of the foot
- Plantar fasciitis is common in runners and individuals who are on their feet for long periods of time
- Plantar fasciitis occurs most frequently in individuals aged 40-60 years, and is more common in women than in men
- Women who are pregnant and individuals who are overweight also have an increased risk of developing plantar fasciitis
What you can expect/look out for
- Plantar fasciitis usually causes sharp pain in the heel
- Pain is often worst with the first few steps after getting out of bed in the morning
- Pain may also occur with prolonged standing
Hints for self-management
- Participate in lower impact exercise, such as cycling and swimming
- Wear sensible shoes that have shock absorption capabilities and support the arch
- Anti-inflammatory medication may provide some pain relief
- Taping to provide more support for the foot
- Physiotherapy guided program to stretch the plantar fascia and strengthen supporting muscles
- Medication or injections to reduce inflammation
- Rest to allow structures to heal
- During gait, while the foot is on the floor, the plantar fascia is continually elongating.
- As you move to push off through the toes, the plantar fascia tenses and causes the arch of the foot to elevate, a phenomenon known as the Windlass Effect.
- It is believed that this spring-like behaviour helps with energy conservation and efficiency of movement
If you are affected by plantar fasciitis and want to determine its exact cause, feel free to contact the team at Sydney Physiotherapy Solutions to make an appointment at either our Sydney CBD physiotherapy clinics or at our recently opened Chatswood Physiotherapy clinic.
Contact us today – 9252 5770