The plantar fascia is situated in the sole of the foot and is a leading cause in sole pain in the majority of people. This fascia plays a vital role in normal foot biomechanics, supporting the arch in the foot and acts as a shock absorber.
What can cause my sole pain?
- Poor footwear
- Excessive pronation of the foot
- Loss of ankle dorsiflexion
- Weight-bearing activities such as running
- An increase in body mass
- Tightness in the muscles in the lower portion of the leg e.g. calf
What is plantar fasciitis?
This is an overuse injury that is caused by micro-tears in the fascia but can also be caused by a traumatic episode. It is often referred to as inflammation of the plantar fascia, however, there is a significant absence of inflammatory cells. You will often feel a stabbing pain near the heel when you wake up in the morning. This pain should decrease when you get up and moving, but, could come back again after a period of standing or getting up after being sat down. This is easy to diagnose through questioning from the therapist, book in now to get the ball rolling on your recovery from plantar fasciitis.
Why am I affected by plantar fasciitis?
This is the most common cause of foot pain whilst it typically affects around 10% of runners. The pain can last for 6 months or more, with women more affected than males. Plantar fasciitis also affects around 10% of the general population with 90% of all cases being resolved with conservative treatment. Your age will also be a risk factor for developing this pathology, if you are between the age of 40-60 you are at a heightened risk of suffering from plantar fasciitis.
How I can relieve my pain immediately?
The first things you should do is to ice and rest the affected area. The rest will give the fascia time to heel whilst the ice will act as pain relief. A useful tip is to freeze a small water bottle, from here work it from the heel towards the toes. This will have a pain relief effect will also helping to relax the affected area. Following this, you should always stretch you calves, these will have an impact on the amount of movement you have through your ankle. More importantly, the calf plays a key role in the amount of ankle dorsiflexion that is available. We have already outlined that a reduced range of ankle dorsiflexion is a risk factor for plantar fasciitis.
Is it possible to prevent plantar fasciitis?
Yes and no. By putting in place stretching routines and actively managing your loading through the tissues you can help to reduce the risk of developing plantar fasciitis. However, you can’t prevent all traumatic episodes from occurring and you may subsequently suffer from plantar fasciitis. If you do suffer from plantar fasciitis then the best thing you can do is manage your pain as best you can whilst getting the tissues mobilised.