The plantar fascia is the thick connective tissue which supports the arch on the bottom of the foot and it runs from the heel bone to the head of the metatarsals. Plantar Fasciitis is a common source of heel pain and is often associated with impact and running sport. It is often diagnosed on people that have poor foot biomechanics such as flat foot that stress the plantar fascia.
It commonly presents in the early stage as a pain in the morning as you wake up and improves with activities, however, symptoms progress as the injury advances.
Common findings or causes of plantar fasciitis include overpronation (rolling in) of feet, inappropriate shoe wears, lack of variety of surfaces for training and running, tight calf or previous history of injury that limits ankle dorsiflexion.
To prevent the condition from deteriorating, it is important to have the problem assess and treated early. Your physiotherapist will select the best form of treatment for your stage of presentation and that may be in the form of advices including rest from aggravating activities, ice applications, gentle plantar fascia stretching, massage techniques and electrotherapy e.g. ultrasound and electrical stimulation. Mechanical treatment that involves foot arch tapings and orthoses is often part of the management of plantar fasciitis. Physiotherapists can also provide advice on shoe wear and biomechanic correction of running technique, and prescribe exercise regimens that improve foot intrinsic muscle strengthening and increase flexibility of ankle and surrounding tight muscular structures.
This was written by Nick Lagos.