Struggling to Walk or Run Long Distances Without Having to Stop?

Plantar fasciitis is characterised by micro tears, breakdown of collagen, inflammation and scarring of the plantar fascia (a thick tendon that runs under the foot) which supports the arch of the foot. The main site of the problem occurs where the tendon meets the heel bone.

Common Symptoms Include:

  • Heel pain with first steps in the morning
  • Sharp Pain during running or long periods of non-weight bearing/sitting
  • Tenderness into the heel – in one or both feet
  • Limited movement of the ankle coming up or tight calves
  • A limp may be present or may have a preference to toe walking
  • Pain is usually worse when barefoot on hard surfaces and with stair climbing

Risk Factors:

  • Overuse – long periods of standing or running
  • An increase in exercise especially running
  • Obesity or sedentary lifestyle
  • Flat inner arches of the foot causing inward rolling of the foot
  • Tight calves & Achilles tendon
  • Heel Spurs –  Although it is unclear if they have a role in causing the condition.

What Can Be Done For Plantar Fasciitis?

Most cases of plantar fasciitis resolve with time. For the first few weeks, those affected are usually advised to rest, change their activities, take pain relief and stretch.

Physiotherapy is often a choice of treatment which GPs advise their patients. Your Physiotherapist will prescribe you with stretches and strengthening exercises to start your recovery. Sports taping techniques, Sports Massage, Ultra Sound (electrotherapy) may also be used as an adjunct to treatment to reduce pain or to speed the recovery process.

Your Physiotherapist may also advise you to change your footwear or add splints/orthotics into your shoe. The structure of your feet may need extra support to reduce inward rolling of the feet and to prevent further irritation or stretching to the plantar fascia. A gait or running analysis may be conducted to determine this.

Your GP may need to be contacted if the above Physio treatment does not fully treat the problem. In come cases steroid injections performed by your doctor may be requested. If these measures are not effective, surgery may need to be conducted in extreme cases.

Top Tips From The Physio Practice:

  • Rest, Ice, Supportive footwear, Anti Inflammatory Medication as prescribed by your GP
  • Sports Massage to the Calves
  • Calf , Foot and Big Toe stretches especially in the morning
  • Spiky Ball to roll out the foot
  • Frozen bottle of water to roll your foot over
  • Strengthening exercises for the calves and inner arches of your feet
  • Supportive/corrective taping techniques – using sports / Ktape

Useful Video: