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Foot or Heel Pain? Do You Suffer with Plantarfasciitis?

If you suffer from pain in your heel, hindfoot, and / or the arch of your foot, it is possible that you suffer with plantarfasciitis (inflammation of the plantar fascia structure).

Plantar Fasciitis commonly presents as a localised pain experienced under the heel bone and hind foot, and oftentimes a burning sensation of the arch of the foot.

People who suffer with this tend to report a sharp pain upon weight bearing first thing in the morning, climbing up stairs or standing for an extended period of time.

The function of the plantarfascia of the foot is to provide support to the arch of the foot, and mechanically it plays an important role in propulsion and forward movement of the body.

Increased stress on the plantar fascia, or ‘overload’, can often be the cause of pain / injury in this area. There are numerous factors that can contribute to this overload, including

- low / "fallen" arches (flat foot) or high arches

- Impact / loading activities such as running or dancing

- Sudden increase in activity

- Increased Body Mass Index (BMI)

- Incorrect or poorly fitting footwear

- Reduced ankle mobility

- Reduced 1st MTP (big toe) extension

- Prolonged standing in daily living

- Tightness in calf, hamstring and gluteal regions

- Imbalances in hip muscle strength

As with most injuries, the most effective treatment requires specific identification of the main contributor(s) to the injury, for example, whether tightness, weakness, poor mechanics or a combination of all of these are to blame.

Various treatment modalities that can be used to address the issue include

- trigger point therapy / release

- soft tissue stretching (particularly of the undersurface of the foot and the calf complex)

- strengthening of the lower limb, to include the intrinsic muscles of the foot

- taping

- heel raises / wedges to offload the painful area.

As with any injury concern, it is important to visit a Chartered Physiotherapist for a specific diagnosis, and a tailored rehabilitation programme.

Consistency with your prescribed home exercise programme is vital to ensure optimal recovery.

Contact us here @ Elite for further information.

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