What is Plantar Fasciitis?
Plantar fasciitis is one of the most commonly diagnosed causes of foot and heel pain, and is the result of repeated irritation over time. The plantar fascia is a tough band of tissue that runs from the ball of your foot to your heel, where it helps support the arch of the foot. Pain in this area is often most apparent for the first few steps after a long rest or after a long period of standing or walking. Catching the signs early and acting proactively can allow you to begin recovering as quickly as possible.
Why does it happen?
Plantar fasciitis can happen to anybody and it is common in both athletic and non-athletic populations. There is a wide variety of modifiable factors that contribute to your risk of this condition. Some commonly associated risk factors are:
- Abnormal foot biomechanics
- Recent increase in weight bearing or impact activities
- Unsuitable or unsupportive footwear
- Limited ankle or foot mobility
- Obesity or sedentary lifestyle
The role of Physiotherapy
Pain and injuries often have many contributing factors. Your Physiotherapist will do a thorough assessment and work together with you to find the most effective treatment strategy for you. Some approaches for treating plantar fasciitis are:
- Stretching and strengthening exercises
- Education for self-management
- Modalities including Low Level Laser, Ultrasound and shockwave
- Manual therapy such as soft tissue mobilization
- Foot orthoses, footwear correction, or night braces
A combination of techniques will be performed to treat the underlying cause(s) and to reduce your pain. It is often helpful for your therapist to assess and recommend footwear for managing this diagnosis.
Martin, R. L., Davenport, T. E., Reischl, S. F., McPoil, T. G., Matheson, J. W., Wukich, D. K., McDonough, C. M., Altman, R. D., Beattie, P., Cornwall, M., Davis, I., DeWitt, J., Elliott, J., Irrgang, J. J., Kaplan, S., Paulseth, S., Torburn, L., Zachazewski, J., & Godges, J. J. (2014). Heel Pain—Plantar Fasciitis: Revision 2014. Journal of Orthopaedic & Sports Physical Therapy, 44(11), A1–A33..