Plantar Fasciitis

Over the last couple of weeks I’ve seen an increase in patients complaining of Plantar Fasciitis. It must be marathon training season!!

This painful foot condition presents as sharp pain in the sole and heel of the foot, often at its worst first thing in the morning when walking from the bedroom to the bathroom.

So what is plantar fascia? This is the strong connective tissue on the sole of the foot that acts as suspension to the arch of the foot and reduces impact when walking, running and jumping. When the fascia becomes overloaded it becomes inflamed, hence the ‘...itis.’

Unfortunately, for many of our patients this has been a long standing condition that often returns to plague them again and again. Some have been recommended steroid injections as a means of alleviating symptoms but I feel this should be a last resort, and only used as part of a combined approach to treatment.

Plantar Fasciitis treatment is really straightforward and very successful when performed correctly. If the connective tissue has become overloaded it is either because you are doing more, or perhaps, different overloading work e.g. running, wearing new shoes, different job at work. Sometimes, the other structures in the foot and ankle that regulate shock absorption have stopped working ie. rather than absorbing shock, they are transmitting it to the sole of your foot and the plantar fascia.

The most commonly occurring dysfunction is tightness to the deep calf muscles, in particular a muscle called Tibialis Posterior. Restricted motion to the ankle joint and medial arch can also prevent good shock absorption and therefore increase load to the sole of the foot.

So, how best to fix plantar fasciitis?

1. Massage the deep calf muscles.

2. Massage the plantar fascia by rolling your foot on a rolling pin or golf ball.

3. Mobilise the ankle joints and arch of the foot.

4. Reduce inflammation by resting your heel on an ice pack.

5. Where possible modify your activities to avoid the pressure.

Most of our recent plantar fascia patients have made excellent improvement with no return of symptoms.

If you have been suffering with this condition, follow the above advice or see one of our osteopaths to put you back on the road to recovery. 

Call us on 020 8298 7122 if you think we can help.

© Bexleyheath Ostepathic Practice 2013