Suffering from Plantar Fasciitis
One of the more common injuries we encounter at Functional Health is Plantar Fasciitis. This condition is common among runners. Individuals who are overweight/obese and/or wear inadequate footwear (with minimal support), do have an increased risk of Suffering from Plantar Fasciitis.
Other risk factors can be determined by:-
40 – 60 years.
Types of Exercise/Activity
Long distance running or any physical activity that places large amounts of stress on your heel – For example, Dancing & Basketball on hard surfaces.
Personal Foot Mechanics
Flat Foot, High Arch or even an abnormal gait can impact the way weight is distributed across the foot and increase stress in the Plantar Fascia.
Excessive Body Weight/Obesity
Added stress is only increased when your weight increases.
What is Plantar Fasciitis?
Plantar Fasciitis is a very uncomfortable injury that can contribute to not wanting to exercise or even sometimes being unable to walk properly. It is a common cause of heel pain and can develop as a result of overstretching, overuse or a medical condition. One of the biggest issues causing Plantar Fasciitis (as noted above), can be carrying extra weight, which can put considerable extra stress on the Plantar Fascia.
The pain associated with Plantar Fasciitis is a result of an inflammation to the thick band of connective tissue, which supports the arch, at the base of your feet. This band is called the Plantar Fascia and it connects the heel bone (Calcaneus) to the heads of your metatarsal bones (toes).
The pain associated with Plantar Fasciitis is often described as that of a painful stabbing pain in the foot. While it can be very painful to perform most physical activity, it is very noticeable first thing in the morning when you first get out of bed. The symptoms can vary considerably and factors such as Overall Health, Exercise, Weight and many more, can play a big role in how symptoms/pain is managed.
What can cause Plantar Fasciitis?
Small tears to the tissue can occur from absorbing shock upon impact when you run, walk, jump, etc. Repeated impact can increase stretching and tearing which will irritate and cause inflammation to the Fascia.
Never Ignore Plantar Fasciitis as this can lead to Chronic Heel Pain, which impacts your health and exercise. Manipulating your walking style to cope with the symptoms can also lead to other Lower Limb issues and even hip or back problems.
Diagnosing Plantar Fasciitis
Our Physiotherapists will diagnose your condition based on your medical history and physical examination. We will assess areas of soreness/tenderness across your feet and discuss further with you to help us determine the cause of the issue.
Treating Plantar Fasciitis
Recovery will vary depending on the individual and your lifestyle. Most people recover within several months when conservatively treatment, rest, icing and stretching.
Physiotherapy and Sports Massage is an excellent way in which to speed up the treatment process. A Physiotherapist can show you a series of exercises to help stretch the Plantar Fascia and Calcaneus Tendon and strengthen lower limb muscles to help support recovery and prevent future reoccurrences.
Some individuals will use pain relieving and anti-inflammatory medications to aid recovery. Functional Health ALWAYS recommend you discuss medication with your GP!
If conservative treatments are not effective after several months, you may want to discuss with your Physio & GP other measures like, Ultrasound or even in some rare occasions a more invasive surgical treatment.
Lifestyle Choices that can impact Plantar Fasciitis
Lower & Maintain a Healthy Body Weight
Extra weight means extra stress and great impact. Lose weight, lessen stress, decrease the risk of Plantar Fasciitis
Choose footwear suitable to your feet. Ensure they are supportive and not restrictive. Good arch support is important.
A quality pair of custom orthotics can make a big difference in improving your Plantar Fasciitis issues. Functional Health even have our own Podiatrist in house.
Try a low impact activity while you recover. Swimming or Cycling instead of running, while you control and manage your symptoms.
Stretch Arches and Surrounding Muscles
Discuss this further with your Physio. Stretching your Plantar Fascia, Calcaneus (Achilles) Tendon and Calves can be one of the best and long term remedies to further help prevent reoccurrence.