Plantar Fasciitis – What is it? What causes it? How do I treat it?

What is the Plantar Fascia?

Plantar fascia is a band of thick tissue on the sole of the foot which runs from the base of the toes to the heel bone, known as your calcaneus. It’s most common functions are to lift the foot arch as you walk and to absorb shock from ground impact.

What is Plantar Fasciitis?

Plantar Fasciitis occurs when the Plantar Fascia becomes inflamed and irritated as you weight bear. It usually occurs where the plantar fascia inserts at the heel bone or toes. Sometimes Plantar Fasciitis can occur within days but most commonly develops over a long period of time.

What can cause Plantar Fasciitis?

No one is exactly sure what causes Plantar Fasciitis, but there are several risk factors that can increase your chances of developing it:

  • Spending a lot of the time on your feet or doing lots of walking, running and standing.

  • If you have recently started exercising on new or uneven surfaces.

  • If your shoes have poor cushioning or poor arch support.

  • If you are overweight, this can put extra strain on the arch and heel.

  • A sudden impact or stretch to the sole of your foot.

  • Having a tight Achilles tendon and calf muscle.

What are the symptoms of Plantar Fasciitis?

Plantar fasciitis usually presents with pain on the sole of the foot but usually towards the heel. The pain is often worse first thing in the morning or after rest when you haven’t been weight bearing for a long period of time. The pain often eases as your start moving around and weight bearing.

What are the Treatment options?

In clinic –

  • Manipulation and mobilisation of the foot joints and big toe (by one of our experienced Chiropractors!)

  • Soft tissue work to the Plantar Fascia

  • Shockwave Therapy to the Plantar Fascia

At home -

  • Rest, ice and elevation are key to reducing inflammation in the fascia

  • Home exercises and stretches for the calf and Plantar Fascia (see below video from our YouTube Channel showing a simple exercise to try!) -

If you have any questions or would like to know more, please phone us on 02380 019099.

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