Plantar Fasciitis is an overuse syndrome that involves an inflammatory reaction at the insertion of the plantar fascia to the heel bone.
Plantar means the bottom side of the foot, fascia means a sheet of fibrous tissue and itis is a latin word for inflammation.
The plantar fascia attaches from the front of the heel bone into the undersurface knuckle joints of the toes.
This ligament is important for the generation of power during the push-off phase of running and jumping. That’s why this condition is commonly seen in running, jumping and racquet sports.
Jogger’s Heel can occur if you don’t have these three important items in your shoe:
- A firm fitting heel
- Heel cushioning
- Sufficient arch support
The classic symptom is pain in the heel during the first few steps out of bed in the morning. It usually decreases once the person has been weight-bearing for an hour or so, but then returns with increased activity.
If the condition is left to progress on its own, you could experience the inability to bear weight on the foot. This can lead to compensatory problems in the leg. If your heel pain is purely a musculoskeletal concern (which you identify by seeking medical attention), you may be advised to seek help from a Physiotherapist.
Once You Experience Pain
The diagnosis is easy. Now it is up to the Physiotherapist to figure out why you have developed plantar fasciitis. The Physiotherapist will first look at all the joints in your ankle and foot. If there are joints that are stiff, then those joints will be mobilized to make them move more efficiently.
The muscles in the lower leg and foot will be examined to screen out a muscle imbalance. If there is one, then a home exercise program will be prescribed.
Balance is another part of your recovery, your Physiotherapist will test your one leg static balance, and prescribe simple balance drills that you can do daily to get your nerves and muscles working together more efficiently. As these drills get easy your Physiotherapist will provide you with more challenging drills to progress your recovery.
If Walking Hurts
If weight bearing is difficult, a powerstep orthotics can be purchased and can be inserted into your shoe to take the pressure off of the plantar fascia insertion. These powerstep increase the medial longitudinal arch support and provide a heel cup to support you fat pad tissue around your heel bone. (Insert Link to website that show pictures of powerstep orthotics with more information or insert here).
Your Physiotherapist may tape your foot to support the arch in the early stages of recovery to assist in reduction of pressure on the plantar fascia. If the taping reduces your pain, that is a great indication that you need some passive support like a powerstep orthotics. The application of ultrasound and muscle stimulation treatments will facilitate further healing.
Plantar fasciitis is a condition that should only be temporary if managed properly once the onset of symptoms start. This condition should be treated immediately and aggressively for the best outcome. Chronic heel pain is more difficult to treat; therefore it’s important to be aware and modify activity appropriately.
Give us a call if your heels are painful when get up out of bed in the morning, which is one of the classic symptoms of plantar fasciitis. We offer a complete retraining and rehabilitation program with unique exercises that fit your needs!