What Is This Heel Pain?
The Plantar fascia is a thick band of soft tissue originating on the sole of the foot from the medial part of the heel, attaching at the base of the toe joints. The Plantar Fascia supports the arch of the foot, tensioned when we weight bear on the foot during standing and walking.
Under normal circumstances, your plantar fascia acts like a shock-absorbing bowstring, supporting the arch in your foot. If tension on that bowstring becomes too great, it can create small tears in the fascia. Repetitive stretching and tearing can cause the fascia to become irritated or inflamed. The body tries to heal itself creating scar tissue, however this is weak and again when the plantar fascia is put under too much stress the scar tissue tears causing pain and inflammation. This becomes a chronic cycle of degenerative injury, ineffective repair and re-injury causing pain and loss of function.
Common activities/reasons that can increase incidence of plantar fasciitis include:
- Poor underlying biomechanics of the foot and ankle complex
- Muscle weakness around the foot and ankle
- Unsupportive footwear
- Running on hard surfaces
- High impact sports e.g football/basketball
- Jobs where you are required to walk/stand for long periods of time
- Plantar Fasciitis accounts for 80% of heel pain (N.I.C.E. guidelines June 2015).
- Slow insidious onset gradually worsening over time
- Intense pain during the first few steps after waking or after a period of inactivity
- Lessening pain with moderate foot activity, but worsening later during the day or after long periods of standing or walking
- Painful gait pattern/limping
- Tenderness of the heel
- Reduced ankle movement when pulling toes upwards
How We Treat Plantar Fascitis at Resolve Physiotherapy
At Resolve Physiotherapy we take a hands on approach to the treatment of your condition, treatment you can expect to receive includes:
- A full and thorough assessment of your heel pain – not all heel pain is plantar fascitis
- Biomechanical assessment
- Soft tissue massage to increase length of tight soft tissues in the local area
- Deep transverse friction massage to provoke an inflammatory response for healing
- Mobilisation techniques
- Ultrasound Therapy to assist in making the repair process of the damage soft tissue efficient
- Sports tape to off load the injured tissue and maintain tissue length
- Active and Passive stretches to increase range of movement and tissue length
- Strength and balance exercises
- Assessment for custom / semi custom orthotics
- Advice on appropriate footwear and tips to reduce symptoms
- Provision of a progressive Home exercise programme tailored to your individual symptoms and goals
- Education and advice on the condition to enable good understanding and self management outside of the clinic
Within 6 sessions of Physiotherapy treatment we aim to significantly reduce your symptoms to a manageable level if not to be asymptomatic from your Plantar Fasciitis.
We aim to get you back to your functional baseline and achieve your personal goals which will have been identified in your initial assessment.
Here at Resolve Physiotherapy we have close links to one of the top foot and ankle consultants in the country. If after a complete course of Physiotherapy symptoms do persist we will refer on for further input to ensure that your pain is settled in the most efficient way.