Plantar fasciitis is a common injury in runners, particularly those that are flat footed. The plantar fascia is a thick fibrous connective tissue originating at the calcaneus (heel bone) and extends along the sole of the foot towards the toes. It acts as a passive limitation that prevents the over flattening of your arch, which is essential during weight bearing activities such as walking and running.
What is Plantar Faciitis?
Plantar fasciitis occurs when the plantar fascia ligament is repeatedly over-stretched due to either poor foot bio-mechanics including over-pronation or weakness of your foot arch muscles. As a result, overtime the ligament develops micro-tears, resulting in inflammation that often causes pain under the heel or arch of your foot, particularly in the morning or after extended periods of rest. The good news is that plantar fasciitis is reversible and very successfully treated with physiotherapy.
6 helpful hints to help ease your pain:
- Always wear supportive comfortable shoes. Alternatively, orthotics may help to prevent your foot from over pronating!
- Try Ankle Rolls! Commonly with plantar fasciitis your surrounding ankle joint becomes stiff due to inactivity which as a result aggravate your pain. This involves rolling your ankle by writing out the alphabet with your foot, helping to loosen your ankle joint and avoid over-stressing your plantar fascia ligament.
- Apply an ice-pack to your foot for 10-20 mins up to 4 times a day to help reduce your pain and swelling. Alternatively, you can use a frozen water bottle as an ice foot roller which can simultaneously provide you with a gentle plantar fascia massage.
- Low Dye Taping provides support to your plantar fascia by offloading the ligament thus, relieving pain associated with Plantar Fasciitis. To check out how to do this type of taping, check out our Taping Series under Exercises on our Website which will provide you with step by step instructions. Alternatively click here!
- Roll a trigger point ball or golf ball under your foot to stretch your plantar fascia ligament, this will help alleviate your plantar fascia pain
- Calf Raises are one of the most effective treatments for plantar fasciitis! It helps to stretch and strengthen the muscles of your calves which helps reduce your heel pain by simultaneously stretching the plantar fascia and Achilles tendon. To do this, stand against a wall and place both your hands on the wall. Using both legs, aim to do up to 25 calf raises. If this is too easy for you, progress to single leg calf raises.
If you are not sure what to do regarding your pain, or if these helpful hints aren’t easing your pain please contact Perth Physiotherapist and Pilates for more specific advice about plantar fascia pain, as we are always here to help you! Click here to see our availability.