Plantar fasciitis is one of the most common complaints of the arch seen by Podiatrist.
This occurs when the tissue supporting the arch (extending from the heel bone to the ball of the foot – the plantar fascia) becomes inflamed. Symptoms of this arch pain include pain when getting up in the morning, after rest periods, prolonged standing and walking.
Usually, overload of the area causes micro-tears at the fascia-bone interface of the heel bone or within the substance of the plantar fascia itself. This leads to inflammation, more commonly known as plantar fasciitis.
The overload maybe caused by:
- Pronation – feet rolling in
- Supination – high arched feet
- Restricted ankle joint mobility
- Poor footwear
- Limb length inequality
Treatment of plantar fasciitis includes:
The complete cessation from running & jumping activities. Fitness maybe maintained whilst minimizing impact and load on the plantar fascia.
The Podiatrist is qualified to diagnose the underlying cause of the plantar fasciitis and treat it appropriately. Sports taping is used as a precursor to or an adjunct to orthotic therapy. Athletes respond favourably to immediate intervention. In most cases early treatment in the acute phase leads to faster relief.
Orthotic & footwear prescription, stretching/strengthening regime is important, ice, ultrasound & steroid injections are also useful modalities. Although caution should be exercised with athletes and the injection as spontaneous rupture of the plantar fascia can occur- orthotic therapy should be implemented before the injection therapy in athletes.