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What is Plantar Fasciitis?

The Plantar Fascia is a thick band of connective tissue that stretches from the heel bone to the toes. The Plantar Fascia plays an essential role in providing the foot with energy storage and propulsion through elasticity while walking or running, as well as passive arch support at all times. Plantar Fasciitis, sometimes referred to as Plantar Heel Pain, is the term that describes the Plantar Fascia becoming inflamed or painful. This is the single most common cause of heel pain. Plantar Fasciitis can also result in mid foot pain on the sole of the foot. Plantar Fasciitis is typically felt early in the morning and after periods of rest.

What caused my Plantar Fasciitis?

The cause of Plantar Fasciitis pain is often difficult to pinpoint, as it rarely begins suddenly. Most often, those developing Plantar Fasciitis partake in impact or running activities, particularly if those activities involve sprinting and/or jumping (and landing on the feet). It is also commonly diagnosed in those with flat feet, or over-pronators. This can often lead to pain with prolonged standing, or any activities involving walking, running or jumping. Occasionally, direct trauma can result in a Plantar Fascia rupture causing sharp pain and inflammation in the arch and heel. Structural changes in the heel, such as the development of heel spurs, can contribute to the development of plantar heel pain, however not everyone with heel spurs will develop plantar fasciitis.

How can you help me with my Plantar Fasciitis?

Your physiotherapist will take a thorough history of your plantar fascia pain, as well as your activity history in order to best diagnose your injury. They will also perform a full physical examination of your hip, knee, ankle and foot in order to provide you with the best possible treatment plan. Typically, your treatment will involve manual therapy and taping techniques in order to help improve your movement and reduce your pain. They will also give you stretching exercises, including achilles tendon stretching, as well as strengthening exercises for your foot and calf muscles designed to improve your function and significantly reduce pain. You can also expect your physiotherapist to address your walking and running biomechanics, and make suggestions regarding orthotics or shoe choices, in order to prevent any future recurrences or development of chronic plantar fasciitis.

What should I do to avoid aggravating my Plantar Fascia?

  • AVOID activities that aggravate your pain until you have seen your physiotherapist
  • REMAIN ACTIVE, while avoiding aggravating activities.
  • For RELIEF, applying ice to the area may help to reduce some pain and inflammation. Wrap the ice to avoid direct contact with your skin
  • For RELIEF, gentle massage of the soles of the feet can provide some relief.
  • RECEIVE physiotherapy care to get your joints, ligaments and muscles performing to their optimum level.

Keep good care of your body and your physiotherapist will continue to monitor your condition. Once your Plantar Fasciitis has resolved you will be able to resume your full activities without worrying about future flare-ups.

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