Plantar fasciitis is characterised by an inflammation of the plantar fascia and is the most common cause of heel pain. The plantar fascia is the thick band of connective tissue under the foot that runs from the heel bone to the toes at the front. Its main purpose is to provide support the arch of your foot.
What causes Plantar Fasciitis?
There are a number of causes including:
Weakness- when the muscles that support the foot and lower leg are weak, the plantar fascia is forced to take more load and as a result can irritate the plantar fascia
Repetitive loading– continuous stress on the plantar fascia can irritate including activities like sports or standing for long periods of time
Poor footwear support
Age– common in middle-aged people due to ‘sagging’ of the arch of the foot, but can occur in younger people who put a lot of load through their feet
Poor bio-mechanics – having flat feet or high arches which can affect walking
Weight gain or excess weight
Arthritic foot joints
Signs and Symptoms of Plantar Fasciitis
- Pain at the base of the foot near the heel with weight-bearing
- Worsened pain after getting out of bed, or after prolonged sitting
- Heel pain will be more painful with the first few steps and will gradually improve as you move
- Our physiotherapists will be able to diagnose plantar fasciitis from your history, symptoms and our assessment
- Medical imaging can also be used to diagnose and our physiotherapists will suggest you see your GP if this is required
- Calf stretches often provide relief
- A frozen water bottle is a great tool to roll under the sole of your foot
- Taping/strapping can off-load the plantar fascia.
- Strengthening is an important component of treatment for plantar fasciitis to improve the ability muscles to support the arch of your foot and off-load the plantar fascia.
If you may be experiencing pain due to plantar fasciitis, one of our skilled physiotherapists will be able to give you a diagnosis and help you on the road to recovery!
Call the office now on 8331 1557 to book into our Oakden, Toorak Gardens or Windsor Gardens clinics and don’t leave that painful heel unattended.