WHAT IS IT?
The Plantar Fascia is a strong band of connective tissue that joins your heel to your toes and provides structural support to the arch of the foot. Further it forms an important part of a natural inbuilt spring system in the foot when running or jumping allowing for propulsion.
When it is injured the area becomes inflamed, particularly around the insertion on the heel and is very painful on weight bearing. Onset of pain is generally sudden and is worse on waking and anytime you go to get up after resting in one position for a period of time (such as sitting at your desk).
SOME POSSIBLE CAUSES:
– sudden increase in training volume without proper progression or conditioning,
– beginning a new activity that you are not used to that involves prolonged time on your feet, walking, running, dancing, skipping etc
– poor choice of footwear (such as high heels or thongs), or a sports shoe that is not suited to your biomechanics
– reduced flexibility in the calf /soleus/hamstrings
– reduced mobility in the first toe
– flat feet (pronation)
TIPS FOR MANAGEMENT:
1. Tape the arch of the foot e.g. low dye taping or wear a plantar fascia support.
2. Ice massage the under side of your foot using a water bottle that was previously 3/4 filled and put in the freezer.
3. Self massage and stretch your calves, soleus, hamstrings.
4. Stretch your big toe
5. Avoid running, jumping activities.
6. Avoid high heels, thongs and instead, wear supportive, enclosed shoes.
7. See your Physiotherapist or other allied health professional for further assistance and to help with the above management.