Plantar fasciitis affects the fingerlike structure of fascia that run underneath the foot from the heel to the toes. If this fascia becomes inflamed, it can create a dull ache or bruised feeling along the arch or bottom of the heel. The pain can be worse first thing in the morning and can often feel quite sharp.
Increased risk factors include excessively low or high arches or extreme pronation or supination. Overload from a rapid increase in mileage and long periods of standing can also cause the condition.
Tight hip flexors or a history of lower back pain has been known to make things worse and even weakened core stabilising muscles can be to blame. Shortened calf muscles are also a major factor.
Recovery can take anything from 3-12 months. However, there are a few things you can do to help. Cross training is recommended with pool running and swimming, pain free elliptical/cycling.
You can relieve the pain by rolling a frozen bottle of water under the foot, stretching the toes & foam rolling the calves. A strength and conditioning programme can also be started including planks and superman.
You can look after and condition your calf muscles with strengthening and stretching to avoid stress on your fascia. Proprioception is also important, try walking barefoot and performing single-leg balancing exercises.
Orthotics can help short term to relieve the pain or an off the shelf heel lift/heel cushion.
WHEN TO STOP RUNNING – Arch pain & tenderness that doesn’t go after warm up. Make an appointment to see your sports therapist within the next few days.
CAUTION – Pain stepping out of bed, after rest & during the first few minutes of a run. Mention is next time you see your sports therapist.
GO – Pain free all day & when barefoot.
If you think you may have plantar fasciitis and would like to get some advice you can book an appointment with our team HERE.