Plantar fasciitis is a common condition affecting the inside of the heel.
The plantar fascia is a thick fibrous band supporting the arch of the foot. It is important in movement such as walking and running. The plantar fascia provides stability and shock absorption to the foot, by tightening and relaxing during movement. This reduces tension on other foot structures. Pain usually occurs on the inside of the heel, it is worse when waking up in the morning and after resting. The pain is often a sharp, however can be a dull ache. It usually eases with activity.
What causes plantar fasciitis?
Plantar fasciitis is considered an overuse injury. Certain foot shapes like flat foot and high arch feet increase your risk of developing it. In the younger person it may be more commonly result from activities such as running and dancing. However in the older person it could be overuse from walking in poor footwear. Other risk factors such as being overweight, a standing job, tightness in your calf and hamstrings can also contribute to the strain on the plantar fascia.
A full biomechanical assessment should be performed to identify any of the above-mentioned risk factors. Initial management with ibuprofen can provide immediate pain relief. This condition is best managed with a combination of therapies such as self-massage, low-dye taping, strengthening exercises. Soft tissue therapy such as low level laser therapy, myofascial release, and dry needling. Biomechanical issues can be corrected with footwear modification and orthotic therapy.