What is Plantar Fasciitis?
Plantar fasciits is characterised by pain underneath the heel. Pain is often worse first thing in the morning or after long periods of inactivity (eg. Driving, sitting at a desk) but will initially ease during activity. As the condition worsens pain occurs more frequently and during activity as well as before or afterwards.
Why do I have it?
Poor biomechanics (flat feet or very high arches, both of which overstretch and strain the plantar fascia)
Footwear with little/no support
Prolonged standing (eg. At work or )
Increased loading (increased training frequency or intensity, change of training surface, change of footwear)
How can I help it?
It is vital to treat both the cause and symptoms of plantar fasciitis.
A physiotherapist will assess your foot biomechanics to determine whether you require additional support in your footwear. Orthotics may be prescribed to control the arch of the foot and prevent abnormal strain on the plantarfascia.
A period of rest from impact activity (eg. Running) must be taken to allow inflammation to reduce. You may still be able to cycle, swim or work on upper body strengthening during this.
Symptoms are treated using soft tissue massage, joint mobilisation, acupuncture, taping and ice therapy. Your physiotherapist will also provide stretching and strengthening exercises for the lower legs.
Top tip: Roll your foot on a frozen bottle of water to help decrease inflammation.
Next week I’ll show you some stretches to help keep the lower leg muscles flexible and loose.
Lucy specialises in Neck and Back Injuries, sporting injuries and biomechanical lower limb conditions (Knee, Foot and Ankle)
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