What is the plantar fascia?
The plantar fascia is similar to a tendon made of flat fibrous tissue. In addition to supporting the arch, the fascia acts like an elastic band connecting the big toe and heel making the foot bones into a strong unit to propel off the toes. It also reduces tension when the heel hits the ground to help the bones absorb all the force going through the foot.
What is Plantar fasciitis?
It is inflammation of the plantar fascia because of repeated overstrain. There are many causes including the shoes people wear and the way people walk.A common cause is overly tight calf muscles reducing the amount of motion at the ankle forcing the arch area to work harder.
What are the treatment options?
– The main goal of treatment is to reduce pain and redistribute pressure from the plantar fascia.
– Short term options:
o Ice: Can be used long term when pain flares up to reduce inflammation.
o Taping: Can be used to help reduce the load and take strain away from the plantar fascia, to be worn for up to 3 days.
o Padding: A short term support for the arch, lasting 1-2 weeks.
o Massage/mobilisation: A gentle release of the strain in the plantar fascia, can be effective in conjunction with other treatments to relieve pain.
– Long term:
o Orthotics: A prescription is written for each individual person and their needs. A goal of supporting the arch and reducing the stress on the plantar fascia.
o Stretching and strengthening program: Reduced strength in surrounding muscle groups or reduced flexibility in different muscles can put extra strain on the plantar fascia.
o Surgical: corticosteroid injections can be used and should be discussed with a surgeon or GP. Surgical release of the fascia is also availableContact Us Today