Plantar Fasciitis


1. What is causing the pain and how did I get it?

Plantar Fasciitis is an overuse of the ligament at the bottom of the arch of the foot causing pain of the bottom of the foot and the heel.  Plantar fasciitis is common with sports which involve running or jumping. Runners who over-pronate their feet or have tight calf muscles are at risk as the biomechanics causes additional stretching of the plantar fascia.


2. How can physiotherapy help?

Due to poor foot biomechanics being the primary cause of your plantar fasciitis it is vital to thoroughly assess and correct your foot and leg biomechanics to prevent future plantar fasciitis episodes or the development of a heel spur.

Physiotherapy can help from right after the injury via:

  1. Pain relief management
  2. Walking aid

To help in full recovery, the physiotherapy treatment will include

  1. Stiffness recovery programme
  2. Strengthening and proprioception exercises
  3. Arch and foot control
  4. Restore Foot biomechanics
  5. Return to sports conditioning programme
  6. Footwear analysis


3. How can I help?

If you protect your injured plantar fascia appropriately the injured tissues will heal. Inflammed structures will settle when protected from additional damage, which can help you avoid long-standing degenerative changes.

During your recovery period, it is important to lengthen and orientate your healing scar tissue via massage, gentle stretches, and light active exercises.


4. How long will it take to recover? (ie. prognosis)

Plantar fasciitis may take from several weeks (through to many months) to heal while we await Mother Nature to form and mature the new scar tissue, which takes at least six weeks.


5. Alleviating morning foot pain

These are some things you can do before stepping down onto the floor to help manage the pain:

  1. Flex and point your foot. Pull your ankles back until you feel a gentle stretch in your calves then point your toes to relieve the tension. Repeat this until you feel less tight in your calves (up and down, approximately 20x).
  2. Sitting, flex foot and extend the first toe. This will help to stretch out the plantar fascia, hold it for 30s, do it 3 times.

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