Plantar fasciitis is a condition that causes pain in the bottom of the foot, specifically in the plantar fascia, which is a thick band of connective tissue that runs along the bottom of the foot from the heel to the toes. The plantar fascia helps to support the arch of the foot and plays a role in movement.
Plantar fasciitis is typically caused by overuse or strain on the plantar fascia, which can occur due to activities such as running, walking, or standing for long periods of time on hard surfaces. It can also be caused by factors such as obesity, flat feet, high arches, or tight calf muscles.
Symptoms of plantar fasciitis include pain in the heel or bottom of the foot, especially when standing or walking after periods of rest, and pain that is worse in the morning or after periods of inactivity. The pain is often described as a stabbing or burning sensation.
Treatments for Plantar Fasciitis
- Stretching exercises – These can help to improve the flexibility of the plantar fascia and other foot muscles, which can help to reduce strain on the tissue and alleviate pain. Examples of stretches that may be helpful include the plantar fascia stretch, the calf stretch, and the toe stretch.
- Arch support – Wearing shoes with good arch support can help to distribute weight more evenly across the foot and reduce strain on the plantar fascia. Arch support inserts or orthotic inserts can also be helpful for this purpose.
- Ice therapy – Applying ice to the affected area for about 15-20 minutes several times a day can help to reduce inflammation and pain. It is important to wrap the ice in a towel or cloth to avoid causing frostbite.
Below is a great exercise to help stretch your calves.
* Check with your physiotherapist before completing these exercises at home to ensure these exercises are suitable for you *
Other treatment options that may be helpful for plantar fasciitis include rest, massages, and over-the-counter pain medications. In some cases, a physiotherapist may recommend more specialised treatment, such as custom orthotics or shock wave therapy.
How can physiotherapy help with Plantar Fasciitis?
Physiotherapy can be an effective treatment option for plantar fasciitis. A physiotherapist can design a treatment plan that includes a variety of techniques to help alleviate pain and improve the flexibility and strength of the plantar fascia and other foot muscles. Some specific techniques that a physiotherapist may use to treat plantar fasciitis include:
- Stretching exercises – As mentioned above, these can help to improve the flexibility of the plantar fascia and other foot muscles, which in turn can help minimise pain.
- Massages – Massaging the plantar fascia and other foot muscles can help to reduce muscle tension and improve circulation, which can aid in the healing process.
- Ultrasound therapy – This type of therapy uses high-frequency sound waves to stimulate blood flow and promote healing.
- Taping or strapping – Taping or strapping the foot in a specific way can help to provide support to the plantar fascia and alleviate pain.
- Strength training – Strengthening the foot and leg muscles can help to improve the overall function of the foot and reduce strain on the plantar fascia.
In addition to these techniques, a physiotherapist may also recommend changes to footwear and activities to help manage symptoms and prevent the condition from worsening.
At Home Physio Group all our physios are equipped with skills to help those with plantar fasciitis. Our Physiotherapists can assess your problem, diagnose, and establish its severity. From their assessment they will be able to determine an appropriate treatment plan with attainable goals.
For more information, please contact us on 0330 335 1016 or alternatively please fill out our contact sheet and we will get back to you.