Plantar fasciitis

Causes of plantar fasciitis

Plantarfasciitis is a term used to describe pain within the fibrous structure in the arch of the foot known as the planar fascia. Pain may occur at it’s insertion to the heel or along the length of this structure. The pain is often most intense first thing in the morning or after periods of sitting & rest. It is often described as burning, achey, bruised and sharp. Some of the more common causes include:

1) Walking barefoot or in low heeled shoes: Reducing the height of heel within the shoe can increase the tension of the achilles tendon. This can in turn affect the function of the plantarfascia with resultant inflammation and pain. Footwear with a ‘heel drop’ (see earlier blog) of approximately 12mm can be helpful in managing plantarfascia symptoms.

2) Tight calf muslces: There is a strong relationship between tightness of the calf muslces and plantar fasciitis. The calfs which consists of the gastrocnemius and soleus muscles are very powerful and play and major role in walking and running activities. It is very important to balance this strength with flexibility. Static calf stretches are a useful way of relieving plantarfascia pain and should be stretched after vigorous sporting or recreational activity.

3) Sudden increase in activity: Regardless of what sport or recreational activity a person may enjoy, if intensity levels are suddenly increased you can wake up feeling pretty sore within the arch or heel the next day. It is important to gradually increase your frequency, intensity and time (F.I.T) exercising to avoid this condition.

4) Foot type: Certain foot types can be predisposed to plantarfascial discomfort. The foot may be flat and overpronating or supinated and stiff. Other factors include forefoot alignment, joint range of motion and muscular tightness/weakness. This requires biomechanical assessment by a podiatrist whom will use a combination of joint assessment, treadmill walking analysis and pressure plate diagnostics.

I hope you found this FOOT FACT helpful. If you have any questions about podiatry and related health issues please use our online enquiry form on the Podiatry clinic Chatswood Podiatrist Chatswood

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Posted by Luke Bortolussi: Bachelor of Applied Science (Podiatry)