Plantar fasciitis

Plantar fasciitis is a condition of inflammation of the fascia ( a thick, fibrous band of tissue) that runs from your heel bone to your toes and supports the arch of your foot. Inflammation of the fascia can cause pain, a stabbing sensation, around the heel and arch of the foot. Overactive muscles, such as the gastrocnemius and soleus, can cause stress in the plantar fascia.

Author: Jade Anderson   |   Date: 11th March 2021

What are the symptoms of plantar fasciitis?

Symptoms of plantar fasciitis may include stabbing pains in the heel or arch of the foot, although most patients report pain in the heel region and can suffer from a swollen heel. It is common for pain to be more apparent in the morning or extended periods of inactivity, eg. sitting for long periods of time. Pain may vary from a dull ache to a burning sensation and most people do not experience any pain until after exercise, for example, a long walk.

What are some of the causes of plantar fasciitis?

Some common causes of plantar fasciitis have been reported from bad quality shoes, due to poor cushioning from the soles, unable to support the impact of daily activities and sports. Activities such as long periods of walking, running and jumping. If you are overweight, this may cause extra strain on the heel and heavier impact when walking and running. Another common cause is from poor joint mobility. If you suffer from short achilles tendon, soleus and gastrocnemius, this can affect dorsiflexion at the ankle joint. Lack of mobility in the foot has been associated with plantar fasciitis, along with pronated feet (flat feet/arches).

Can plantar fasciitis go away on its own?

Mild plantar fasciitis is likely to go away on its own with rest. It is advised to stretch and strengthen the muscles around the foot and ankle to reduce the risk of repetitive injury. Specific exercises can help speed up the recovery of plantar fasciitis and exercises can reduce the risk of the injury becoming a chronic condition. If the tissue is inflamed and sore, Stretching the foot will give temporary relief but the muscles around the foot and ankle will need strengthening to support and balance the joint.

What are the best exercises for plantar fasciitis?

Exercises:

  • Physio ball foot rolls
  • Foam roller release for gastrocnemius and soleus
  • Big toe stretches
  • Ankle mobility on reformer
  • wall/ankle stretch
  • Banded ankle flexion (dorsiflexion)

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