What is Plantar Fasciitis?


What is Plantar Fasciitis? What can a Physiotherapist do for Plantar Fasciitis?


The plantar fascia is a thick connective tissue that supports the inside arch of the foot, and is important for weight bearing. Plantar Fasciitis is one of the most common foot conditions we physiotherapists see. Originally thought of as an inflammatory condition, new research suggests plantar fasciitis is actually a degenerative condition. This new way of classifying the condition has altered how plantar fasciitis is treated.


Plantar fasciitis is common in runners or those who stand for long periods of time for work. Other factors that can make you more susceptible to plantar fasciitis include: incorrect knee, ankle and/or foot alignment; calf tightness or weakness; weight gain; fast increase in training, and/or inadequate footwear.


Sharp heel pain is the most common symptom of plantar fasciitis. This heel pain is often worse when walking first thing in the morning or after prolonged rest. The pain can also occur while standing, walking or running, forcing you to stop activity.


What can you do at home?

  1. Lunging Calf Stretch: Step your non-painful foot forward, bend your front leg forward, keep your back leg straight and your heel on the ground. You can lean forward and place your hands on a wall in front of you for balance if necessary. Hold the stretch for 30 seconds, relax, and repeat 3 times.
  2. Plantar Fascia Stretch: Sit upright with your leg crossed so that your painful foot is resting on your other knee. Keep your foot relaxed, use your hand to pull your foot and toes up towards your shin. Massage the bottom of your foot and heel while holding the stretch. Hold for 30 seconds, relax and repeat 3 times.


Why should you see a physiotherapist?

You may choose to see a physiotherapist if your heel pain restricts your work, physical activities or everyday life. I will perform a thorough assessment of your heel pain, and create a more comprehensive treatment plan. This personalized treatment plan will help prevent disruption to the healing process, quickening in your recovery. The treatment plan may include a set of home physiotherapy exercises, the use of electrophysical agents, myofascial release, education for activity modification, and/or recommendations for orthotic devices.

If you are experiencing foot or heel pain, book an initial physiotherapy assessment at The Massage Clinic Health Centres today.

Alyson Schwichtenberg

Registered Physiotherapist 

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