Plantar Fasciitis is inflammation of the plantar fascia of the foot. It is an overuse condition which causes pain in the heel. There are many risk factors which include having a job which requires a high amount of standing or walking, sudden increase in amount of walking or running, tightness in the calf muscles and poor foot biomechanics eg flat feet.
The plantar fascia is a tough, fibrous band of tissue connecting your heel bone (calcaneus) to the base of your toes. Repeated trauma to the tissue where the plantar fascia attaches to the calcaneus can result in microscopic tears to the attachment. The most common cause of over-stressing the plantar fascia is due to having a flat (pronated) foot.
Plantar fasciitis pain typically starts as a dull intermittent pain in the heel and may progress to a sharp and constant pain. One of the most common symptoms is piercing heel pain upon the first few steps after getting out of bed in the morning or pain when standing for extended periods.
What happens if you don’t treat it?
If plantar fasciitis is left untreated it can often become a chronic condition. To start with you will be unable to keep up your current level of activity starting to miss sport and exercise and can potentially develop knee, hip and back pain because of the changes in the way you will walk. Over time these microscopic tears will become more difficult to heal leading to an increased time away from doing the things you want to do.
Rehabilitation of Plantar Fasciitis can include a number of different modalities including stretching the plantar fascia and surrounding muscles, strengthening the surrounding muscles along with assessing and correcting poor biomechanical patterns.