Have You Got Plantar Fasciitis?
Did you know that 1 in 10 people aged over 50 years old have experienced heel pain in their lives?
Plantar fasciitis is one of the most common overuse injuries of the foot.
So what is the plantar fascia?
- The plantar fascia is a thick band of connective tissue which runs along the bottom of the foot. It connects bones together and helps form the arch of the foot.
- It provides the foot with energy storage and propulsion through elasticity when you are walking or running
There are some risk factors of developing plantar fasciitis, these include:
- High impact activities or weight bearing activities (e.g. prolonged standing, running)
- Improper shoe fit
- Increased BMI
- Diabetes Mellitus (and/or other metabolic conditions)
Patients with this condition often experience the following symptoms:
- Heel pain in the morning
- Tenderness on the inner side of heel
- Reduced range of motion of the ankle
- Tightness in achilles tendon
- Pain is worsened when walking barefooted or when climbing stairs
What can I do to help me if I experience the symptoms mentioned above?
- You should try to avoid aggravating activities, like running or high impact exercises. However, it is important to still remain active. Consider taking shorter walks, trying other physical activities to help you.
- Use pain relief – this can be an ice pack, wrapped in a few layers of towel to help reduce pain and inflammation
- Receive physiotherapy treatment
What do physiotherapists do to help with plantar fasciitis?
Physiotherapists use a patient-centered approach to help patients who suffer from conditions such as plantar fasciitis.
They undertake an extensive history of your mechanism of injury to understand your condition a bit more.
You should also expect physiotherapists to perform physical assessments to test your range of motion, strength and activities that reproduce your symptoms.
For treatment, strength training and stretching are commonly performed to help patients strengthen the muscles of the foot and, at the same time, reduce pain. Manual techniques such as mobilisations are useful for pain relief as well as increasing your range of motion.
Sometimes taping is a passive technique to help with pain reduction and supporting your foot arch, too!
Advice on activity modification is one of the major areas which your physiotherapist will discuss with you to help you gain control of your condition.
It is important to work with your physiotherapist and be sure to ask any burning questions you may have, so you can achieve the best possible outcome!
Physiopedia. (2018). Plantarfasciitis. [online] Available at: https://www.physio-pedia.com/Plantarfasciitis [Accessed 28 Jun. 2018].
Time. (2018). You Asked: What’s the Best Way to Treat Plantar Fasciitis?. [online] Available at: http://time.com/5322861/plantar-fasciitis-treatment/ [Accessed 28 Jun. 2018].