What is plantarfasciitis?
Plantarfasciitis is a condition characterized by pain in the heel and bottom of the foot. It is classified by inflammation of the plantar fascia, a thick band of connective tissue that runs from the heel bone to the toes.
The plantar fascia helps to support the arch of the foot and plays an important role in shock absorption during walking and running.
Plantarfasciitis is commonly seen in people who are on their feet a lot, such as athletes, or people who have occupations that require prolonged standing or walking.
The exact cause of plantarfasciitis is not known and may be a result of combination of multiple factors.
What Contributes to Plantarfasciitis?
Plantarfasciitis is commonly seen in people who are on their feet a lot, such as athletes, dancers, and people who have occupations that require prolonged standing or walking.
2. Foot Mechanics
People with certain foot types, such as flat feet, high arches, or overpronation, are at a higher risk of developing plantarfasciitis. These foot types can place extra stress on the plantar fascia and can lead to strain and inflammation.
Plantarfasciitis is more common in people over the age of 40, as the plantar fascia can become less flexible and more prone to injury with age.
Being overweight can place extra stress on the feet, which can increase the risk of developing plantarfasciitis.
5. Tight Calf Muscles
Tightness in the calf muscles place extra stress on the plantar fascia.
6. Underlying Inflammatory Conditions
People with inflammatory conditions including diabetes and rheumatoid arthritis are at a higher risk of developing plantar fasciitis.
How does physiotherapy Treat Plantar Fasciitis?
Resolves the root cause
During the assessment, your therapist will explore which factors are contributing to your plantarfasciitis. Your therapist will then provide treatments to correct your walking and foot mechanics, prescribe exercises, and educate you on how to manage and reverse your plantarfasciitis.
1. Manual Therapy
Myofascial release: to reduce pain, tightness, and inflammation of the joints, nerves, and fascia in the foot and surrounding tissues.
Joint mobilization: to promote smooth joint movement and mobility of the foot, ankle, and other affected areas.
2. Biomechanical Optimization
Movement pattern and gait conditioning: relearning how to walk with proper lower leg and foot mechanics will limit inflammation of the plantar fascia.
3. Exercise Therapy
Stretching: to improve flexibility and reduce the tension of the lower leg muscles and plantar fascia.
Strengthening: to improve the activation and stability of the muscles in the upper leg, lower leg, and foot muscles, which can benefit overall function and reduce the risk of further injury.
Home exercise program: individualized exercise prescription to restore optimal and balanced movement.
Shockwave therapy: use of high-energy sound waves to improve blood flow, break down scar tissue, regrow new tissue, reduce pain, and stimulate healing processes.
Taping: to support the plantar fascia and calf musculature and reduce stress.
Acupuncture: use of thin needles to improve local and systemic function, regulate the nervous system, and promote the body’s natural healing processes.
Heat and cold therapy: to manage reduce pain and tension or control inflammation.
Electrostimulation: use of electrical currents to stimulate muscles and reduce pain.
Ultrasound: use of high-frequency sound waves to produce deep tissue heating to reduce muscle tension, fascial tension, and inflammation.
Laser therapy: to improve blood flow, reduce pain and inflammation, and promote tissue healing.
Recommendations regarding activity modification, posture, and shoe wear to help reduce load, risk of recurrence, and further injury.