What is plantar fasciitis?

Plantar fasciitis describes inflammation and damage to the connective tissue situated on the sole of your foot which forms your plantar fascia (inner arch) and can cause quite significant heel pain.

What causes plantar fasciitis?

There are a few different causes of plantar fasciitis:

  • Recent weight gain- being overweight can be a factor contributing to plantar fasciitis
  • High stress levels- increased occurrence in people who are on their feet all day
  • Improper footwear- if your shoes are worn or don’t have cushion in the soles
  • Changes in activity levels- if you have recently altered your activity levels such as changing an exercise routine e.g. increasing how far your run or running on hard/uneven surfaces
  • Rheumatic conditions- if you are a sufferer of rheumatoid arthritis or other rheumatic conditions such as ankylosing spondylitis you might be more susceptible to inflammation in any place a ligament attaches to bone so plantar fasciitis may be part of that condition.
  • Flat feet or high arches- you are less likely to absorb walking stresses if you have high arches
  • Heel spurs- extra bone may form a bony prominence in your feet and are more common in people with plantar fasciitis but not a cause of plantar fasciitis

What are the symptoms of plantar fasciitis?

There are a few common symptoms of plantar fasciitis:

  • Heel pain which can be intermittent or constant and is often worse in the morning, after periods of sitting for a while or at the beginning of playing sports
  • The pain can be described as a burning sensation or like ‘a nail being driven into the heel’
  • Pain can also occur in the middle part of the foot

How is plantar fasciitis diagnosed?

Your physiotherapist can carry out a full foot assessment to diagnose whether you have plantar fasciitis. X-rays may show any bony prominences or calcification within the plantar fascia and MRI or ultrasound scans can see if there are any plantar fascia tears, calcification or inflammation.

What treatment can Farrell Physiotherapy offer for plantar fasciitis?

There are several different treatment approaches to plantar fasciitis depending on how severe your symptoms are. Following assessment, your physiotherapist will create a treatment programme for you which may include:

  • Joint mobilisation
  • Soft tissue massage
  • Ultrasound
  • Taping for arch support
  • Ice or heat therapy
  • Advice regarding orthotics, padding or insoles
  • Biomechanical correction
  • A footwear assessment
  • Balance exercises
  • Strengthening exercises
  • Flexibility exercises

Benefit of physiotherapy for plantar fasciitis?

There are several benefits of physiotherapy for plantar fasciitis and our aim is to have you at your best in the shortest space of time.

Physiotherapy can:

  • Accelerate healing
  • Reduce pain
  • Allow a speedy return to functional/sporting activities
  • Increase strength
  • Increase flexibility
  • Improve foot posture
  • Educate regarding footwear

If you would like to book an assessment or enquire further, please call 01245 615 051 or e-mail: infofarrellphysiotherapy@gmail.com.