The plantar fascia is a very strong tissue that is designed to support the arch of your foot, and according to the research takes on approximately 14% of the total foot load. It originates from the underside of your heel bone and attaches to each of your five toes. It involves three main components – inside, central and outside. When walking, your plantar fascia is continuously elongating and shortening throughout the contact phase of your gait, and when toeing-off at the end stage of your gait, your plantar fascia becomes tense, resulting in elevation of your arch and shortening of the foot.
‘Plantar fasciitis’ covers several injuries to the plantar fascia, including but not limited to;
Plantar Fasciopathy arises from increased inflammation over the tissue, and is a result of overstretching, overuse and/or certain medical conditions. Causative factors include a sudden increase in exercise/work levels, an increase in weight, pregnancy, change in footwear, high impact sport and your foot structure.
Pain is often felt in the first few steps after waking up, after a period of rest or after an extended period of exercise, and is usually described as an aching, pulling pain under the arch and heel
Plantar Fasciopathy is best treated with a combination of treatments. Initial treatment involves reducing inflammation using ice and topical anti-inflammatory cream. Our podiatrists can also utilise massage on the plantar fascia and calf muscle, along with strapping techniques to reduce stress and load on the plantar fascia. Footwear changes may be required, along with orthotic therapy to reduce tension on the plantar fascia and control poor foot mechanics. The next stage of treatment involves a targeted strength program to help regain strength through the plantar fascia and surrounding structures, along with improving hip and leg strength. This may take several weeks.
If you suffer from heel pain, do not attempt to ignore the pain and visit a podiatrist immediately for assessment and care. As the Plantar Fasciopathy turns from an acute to chronic pain, treatment becomes harder and the recovery time can often increase. Recurrent episodes of heel pain can lead to long-term tearing of the plantar fascia.
If you would like to learn more about our services, or have some questions regarding our treatment options in our Mount Lawley clinic, feel free to give us a call.
You can reach us at (08) 9271 8805 and one of our friendly team members will be happy to answer your questions.