I have a sore heel! Do I have plantar fasciitis?

 

Well if you have a sore heel and it is really sore when you first walk in the morning, after a lot of walking or prolonged standing, then probably yes.

The plantar fascia is a thick band of fascia that originates at the inside of your heel and runs forward to attach to the distal part of the foot. Its role is to statically support the arch of the foot and aide in dynamic shock absorption.

The plantar fascia can be injured by sudden force like jumping and landing but more commonly by repetitive microtrauma of the attachment of the fascia onto the heel.  Most clients will relate that their heel just got progressively sore without any specific event. The cause is normally related to biomechanical anomalies that lead to abnormal repetitive stress on the plantar fascia resulting in microtrauma.

Most people with plantar fasciitis will have either a flattened arch or a high arch of their foot. Other associated factors with this type of foot pain are limited ankle range of movement (dorsiflexion) and increased body mass index (BMI) or being overweight.

Plantar Fasciitis Treatment

 

Well firstly, recovery will take time. There is no instant cure for plantar fasciitis but recent studies have suggested that the addition of load to help the plantar fascia heal along with orthotics. See below for our suggested exercises that have helped over a 3 month period.

 

All Care Physiotherapy plantar fasciitis advice

 

  • Have an All Care consult to check if you have plantar fasciitis
  • Organise to have a Gaitscan and prescription orthotics organised
  • Wear shoes with an arch support at all times (best shoes for plantar fasciitis are crocs or running shoes)
  • Learn how to do plantar fascia taping on yourself
  • Ice daily
  • Do your exercises daily
  • Do Spiky ball releases daily
  • Warm the plantar fascia up before exercise
  • Modify Exercise based on our advice below

 

Plantar Fasciitis Exercises

 

Knee to Wall

 

Place your foot against the wall. Move your knee so it touches the wall. Then slide your foot out and repeat. Aim to get your foot as far away from the wall as possible. Repeat 10-15 times.

 

Calf stretch

 

Place your foot behind you and lean forward onto the front foot until you feel a stretch in the back of the calf. Do with your knee straight and also bent.

 

Toe Flexor Strengthening

 

 

Stand on a band covering your 2nd to 5th toes. Correct the arch of your foot. Let the toes bend as you tension the band and then push down against the band and hold 5 seconds. Aim for 3x 15 repetitions.

 

Isometric Calf Holds

 

 

Hold onto support. Lift your heel about 5 cms and hold 20 – 30 seconds. Do 4 – 6 repeats.

 

Plantar Fascia Heel Raises

 

Stand on a step or a book with your toes supported over a rolled up towel. Slowly lift your heel and then lower your heel over the edge of the step. Repeat 15 times. 3 sets.

 

Spiky ball releases

 

Stand on a spiky ball and roll out the plantar fascia. Do 3 to 5 minutes.

 

Exercise advice for Plantar Fasciitis

 

Our advice is to firstly get you pain under control to a rating of 0-3/10 (scale 0 – 10 where 10 is worst pain imaginable). Ice your heel and do the exercise and rest from aggravating activities.

Record how long it takes to do an activity that results in aggravation of your foot pain. If the resting pain levels are low (1-3/10) then you may start to do short periods of activity (e.g walking) that is short of aggravating your pain or settles quickly. Aim to slowly increase the time of exercise by 10 – 15% per week or short of escalating the pain levels to a 4 or 5/10. Best start with doing exercise every second day.

So, if you have heel pain then organise an appointment today on 1300 291 133. All clients who mention our Gaitscan special will receive 33% off our custom orthotics for the month of May.

 

Product of the Month

 

Custom Prescription Orthotics

 

As discussed above, orthotics are part of the solution to overcoming Plantar fasciitis. We are continuing on from our May special with 33% off orthotics this month if you mention this offer. Ends May 30, 2017.