The plantar fascia is a ligament that runs along the sole from the heel to the ball of the foot and supports the arch of your foot. It enables you to push off from the ground when walking or running. Bruising or overstretching this ligament can cause inflammation and heel pain. If you strain your plantar fascia, it gets weak, swollen, irritated and inflamed. Plantar fasciitis can happen in one foot or both feet and is often associated with a heel spur.
Signs and symptoms
A sharp pain is usually felt on the underside of the heel, and is often more intense with the first steps after rest, when climbing stairs or when standing on tiptoe. You may also experience heel pain after exercise, (not usually during exercise) with mild swelling of the heel.
Repeated strain such as high impact exercise like running, dance and aerobics can cause the ligament to tear. This is more likely to happen if:
- Your feet roll inward (excessive pronation).
- You have high arches (Pes Cavus) or flat feet (Pes Planus).
- You walk, stand, or run for long periods, especially on hard surfaces.
- You are overweight, including pregnancy.
- You wear shoes that don't fit well or are worn out.
- You have a tight Achilles tendon or calf muscles.
- Allow adequate recovery time between workouts or training sessions.
- Avoid activities that cause pain.
- Avoid going barefoot, especially on hard surfaces.
- Choose supportive shoes. Avoid excessive high (stiletto) heels and shoes with excessively low heels (e.g. thongs). Buy shoes with a low to moderate heel, good arch support and absorption.
- Ensure you receive regular massages to the calves and legs
- Maintain a healthy weight to minimise the stress on the plantar fascia.
- Stretch the calves and Achilles
- Warm up before starting any activity or sport.
Reflexology and Myotherapy are treatments that specifically target and treat Plantar Fasciitis. Initial treatment focuses on the calf muscles, Achilles tendon and plantar fascia, using a variety of techniques such as Myofascial Release, Cupping, Dry Needling and Trigger Point Therapy.
Your therapist will discuss your physical activity and work, and conduct range of movement assessments to establish the cause and most suitable treatment for your condition. Following treatment, your Myotherapist will establish ongoing options with you. If an underlying pathology is suspected, your Myotherapist may refer you to an Osteopath, Physiotherapist, Podiatrist or Sports Doctor for further testing.
Aims of rehabilitation
- Decrease initial pain and inflammation
- Identify biomechanical dysfunction.
- Improve flexibility.
- Injury prevention.
- Return to full fitness.
- Strengthen the plantar fascia.
For further information and to find out how Spectrum Health and Wellbeing can tailor treatment to assist you with your condition, contact the clinic today.
Spectrum Health and Wellbeing is unique in that it incorporates knowledge and skills derived from Myotherapy, Reflexology, Reiki, Oriental/Sports and Relaxation Massage, Psychotherapy, Strength and Condition, Fitness, Exercise Prescription, Martial arts and Asian philosophy together with Western medicine to maximise the effectiveness of your treatment.
Myotherapy incorporates techniques from other disciplines such as Osteopathy and is similar to Physiotherapy in many ways, focusing on the assessment of the soft tissues (muscles, ligaments, fascia etc.) to eliminate dysfunction and aid recovery. Techniques from Asian therapies and other manual therapies (e.g. Dry Needling, Cupping, Manual Lymphatic Drainage etc.) are included, as well as utilising exercise prescription, stretching and electro-therapy to maximise results.