Plantar Heel Pain aka Plantar Fasciitis

With all the extra beach walks and City To Bay prep, Plantar Fasciitis (aka Plantar Heel Pain) is starting to walk (pun intended) in to the practice.

Plantar fasciitis is generally felt as a sharp pain under the heel of your foot, and is usually very painful when you take your first steps in the morning.

The pain may improve as you walk more and you may think it has gone by the end of the day, until the next morning when you wake up, put your foot down and the sharp pain has returned again.

What Causes Plantar Fasciitis?

Plantar fasciitis usually occurs from overloading the tissue of the plantar fascia. This may be from an increase in exercise such as walking or running, or a change in footwear (changing from closed shoes in winter with a small heel, to flat thongs in summer), in some cases causing micro-tears to the tissue of the plantar fascia.

What Is The Treatment?

It’s important to treat your leg as a whole, and not just look at the sole of your foot.

Your physio will likely use some or all of the following techniques

  • Analysis of footwear to ensure good support
  • Rest from aggravating activities
  • Physio to mobilise your foot and ankle joint
  • Massage, dry needling/accupuncture to foot, ankle and lower leg where required
  • Ice therapy
  • Ultrasound
  • Taping
  • Stretching and strengthening exercises
  • Structured loading programme

Plantar fasciitis can be quite severe and it is important to get it assessed and treated as soon as possible after symptoms present.

4 Things To Help Your Heel Pain At Home

To get you on the road to recover, try these 4 simple exercises to help with your heel pain at home

1. Sitting in crouched position with your toes curled under to stretch under your foot

2. Long calf stretch

3. Short calf stretch

4. Self massage your sole/arch of your feet all the way up to the sore spot on your heel

Stop an exercise if it is painful and consult your healthcare professional!

If you would like some help treating your foot and heel pain, feel free to make your next appointment online here (new patients here, existing patients here).

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