What is Plantar Fasciitis?
The plantar fascia is a structure that provides tension to the arch of the foot ensuring it doesn’t collapse, think of the string of a bow and arrow keeping tension on the bow. This structure becomes irritated and painful as it connects to the heel bone. Plantar fasciitis affects up to 10-15% of the population and on average, plantar heel pain last for longer than six months (McPoilet al., 2008). Most cases (up to 90%) don’t require surgical intervention (Riddle et al., 2003).
What are the symptoms?
- Pain on the first few steps especially in the morning
- Tenderness at anterior heel
- Limited ankle range of motion
What causes it?
Plantar fasciitis has many causes including
- loss of ankle range of motion
- foot pronation
- improper fitting footwear
- significant changes in exercise
What is the treatment?
Initial treatment focuses around reducing pain and normalizing gait pattern, this can include manual therapy and taping provided by your physiotherapist.
Long term treatment revolves around
- restoring strength to the small muscles of the foot as well as the lower leg (Rathleff et al., 2015)
- regaining ankle range of motion by stretching exercises (DioGiovanni et al.,2003)
- correcting foot postures
Written by Flinn Shiel
Book in with Flinn at any of the following clinincs:
Eromasa Physiotherapy Clinic – PH: 03 5977 6590
Elsternwick Physiotherapy Centre – PH: 03 9528 2881
Langwarrin Sports Medicine Centre – Ph: 03 9789 1233
DioGiovanni, B.F., Nawoczenski, D.A., Lintal, M.E., et al. 2003. Tissue-specific plantar fascia-stretching exercise enhance outcomes in patients with chronic heel
pain. Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery. 85-A:1270-1277
McPoil, T.G., Martin, R.L., Cornwall, M.W., Wukich, D.K., Irrgang, J.J., & Godges, J.J., 2008. Heel pain–plantar fasciitis: clinical practice guildelines linked to the
international classification of function, disability, and health from the orthopaedic section of the American Physical Therapy Association. J Orthop Sports Phys Ther.
Rathleff, M.S., Mølgaard, C.M., Fredberg, U., Kaalund, S., Andersen, K.B., Jensen, T.T., Aaskov, S. and Olesen, J.L., 2015. High‐load strength training improves
outcome in patients with plantar fasciitis: A randomized controlled trial with 12‐month follow‐up. Scandinavian journal of medicine & science in sports, 25(3)
Riddle, D.L., Pulisic, M., Pidcoe, P., & Johnson, R.E., 2003. Risk factors for Plantar fasciitis: a matched case-control study. J Bone Joint Surg Am. 85-A(5):872–7