What is Plantar Fasciitis?
Plantar fasciitis is a painful disorder occurring on the bottom of the foot, especially the heel. The plantar fascia, the strong tissue that supports your feet, becomes inflamed and irritated. The affected area is sensitive to pressure. The plantar fascia provides shape to your foot arch, providing shock absorption and a good distribution of your weight as you set weight through your leg.
What Causes Plantar Fasciitis?
The worst time of pain is when you take your first step in the morning or after an extended period of sitting. This can happen through increased activity, for instance on a hiking holiday, or with increased stretch on the tissues, like swapping to unsupportive sandals etc. Recognising the first warning signs is vital to a speedy recovery.
Avoid overdoing the items that particularly provoke your pain. Weight-bearing activities such as walking and running are common aggravators, so temporarily reduce these or substitute them for swimming or cycling which don’t put such a lot of load through the plantar fascia.
How To Address This?
- Roll an ice bottle under your foot. It also helps to softly stretch the tissues while reducing inflammation.
- As the plantar fascia may be a continuation of the tissues in your calf and Achilles tendon, it’s important to deal with any tension in these areas. Stretch regularly throughout the day to assist reduce any excess load on the plantar fascia.Your Physiotherapist at River Physio will teach you stretches like Calf Stretch, Plantar fascia stretch to help ease pain and aid in recovery.
- Address your footwear. If you tend to steer around during a flat, lose unsupportive shoes, wear lace shoes with good support.
- Supportive shoes and orthotics and shoes with thick soles with additional cushioning can reduce pain while standing and walking for long.
- Try different insoles. If your pain is predominantly in your heel, you’ll find a doughnut-shaped insert helpful. Alternatively, you can add support in your arch.
Our patients have recovered well with Extracorporeal shockwave therapy (ESWT) and this treatment has proven to be very effective in many cases. High-energy shockwave impulses stimulate the healing process in damaged plantar fascia tissue during this procedure.
As we delved back into reading on effective methods used to treat Plantar Fasciitis before the advent of modern approaches, we identified more successful traditional methods incorporated in treating plantar fasciitis. Hence we integrated olden gold standard treatment methods with the modern approaches. As a result, our patients at River Physio have seen huge improvements in healing and prevention of recurrences.
Remember, plantar fasciitis can take a while to settle, hence adherence to the exercises we provide is highly recommended.