Have you recently noticed a sharp, burning or stabbing pain into the bottom of your foot/heel? Are you noticing it is most uncomfortable when you first get out of bed and walk to the kitchen? If so, you could be suffering from a common inflammatory condition known as plantar fasciitis (pronounced plantar fas-ci-i-tis).
The main symptom associated with plantar fasciitis is pain experienced first thing in the morning, following prolonged periods of rest or sedentary positions and also after extended periods of exercise or standing. Pain is usually located in the heel and arch of the foot, but can occasionally be located into the ball of the foot as well.
The plantar fascia is the thick fibrous tissue on the underside of the foot, starting from the calcaneus (heel bone) and connects along the sole to the ball of your foot. It acts like a rubber band by stretching and contracting as you walk. The plantar fascia can be put under quite a bit of force, particularly when participating in activities with running or jumping movement.
Plantar fasciitis is diagnosed when this soft tissue is inflamed. This can occur following an acute injury, however it most commonly develops due to overuse.
Factors of overuse plantar fasciitis include:
- A sudden increase in activity/exercise load
- Weight gain
- Poor footwear
- Poor biomechanics (excessive pronation)
Physiotherapy treatment usually involves initially reducing pain and inflammation. This is done through activity modification, footwear advice and using manual therapy such as soft tissue massage, ultrasound and strapping the arch of the foot.
Our physiotherapists can provide a graded exercise program focusing on stretching and strengthening the soft tissue of the foot and surrounding musculature. Our physiotherapists can also assist in prescribing arch supporting orthotics, if they believe this is indicated.
All of our physiotherapists are skilled in diagnosing and treating plantar fasciitis. If you have been suffering with this condition and would like some help, don’t hesitate to contact any of our Berwick, Pakenham Lakeside or Clyde North physiotherapy clinics to book an appointment.