What is Plantar Fasciitis?
Plantar Fasciitis can be described as inflammation of the plantar Fascia. The plantar fascia is a thick band of connective tissue that runs along the sole of the foot from the heel (calcaneous), extending towards the ball of the foot or base of the toes (metatarsals).
There are multiple, likely causes of this condition including;
- Prolonged weight bearing
- Increase in weight/ BMI
- Poor footwear or change in footwear
- Deformities of the foot
- Sudden Increase in activity levels or change in terrain
The main symptom of this condition is pain. Usually there is pain on the first step in the morning which then eases as activity is increased, similarly pain or stiffness after prolonged periods of sitting or inactivity is common. Pain can also be reproduced on stretch of this band of tissue.
Diagnosis commonly involves palpation just below the calcaneus where the band attaches, pain indicates a positive diagnosis.
There are various treatment options to not only reduce inflammation and pain but to also prevent a reoccurrence of the condition.
- Ice to reduce inflammation
- Appropriate medications to reduce inflammation
- Stretching of the calf and plantar fascia
- Orthotics to correct foot position and alignment
- Dry needling to encourage healing
- Massage to loosen tight tissues
- Taping techniques to offload the plantar fascia
Your physiotherapist will advise you what are the most appropriate modalities for you.
Like any condition self-management outside of what your Physiotherapist does in the treatment session is VERY important. The patient can use self massage or release techniques as well as stretches, ice, medications, rest or modification of activity.
This demonstrates an example of a self massage technique using a golf ball.