What is Plantar Fascia?
Plantar Fascia is the deep fascia on the sole of the foot, that runs from the heel (Calcaneus) to the balls of the toes.
The role of Plantar Fascia include:
- Support to the longitudinal (medial) arch of the foot
- Holding parts of the foot together
- Protection to the sole part of the foot
What is Plantar Fasciitis?
Plantar Fasciitis is an inflammation of the plantar fascia. Most often the pain can be felt on the plantar fascia aspect of the heel and the medial foot. It is often noticed when moving from a resting position, such as getting up to walk from a sitting position or first waking .
If left untreated it can create a situation in which a bone spur on the heel (Calcaneus) may occur. This may create a nodule that can be felt at the site of pain.
Who does it affect?
Plantar Fasciitis is often found in athletes or those participating in activities that require intense running or sports that create high impact on the foot. For example, the pushing off phase in long distance running, where maximum pressure is exerted along the fascia.
The shape and support of the arches of the foot can play a role in the degree to which we are likely to become susceptible. Those with flat feet that turn out are more predisposed to this condition.
How does it impact our activities?
A common issue with those suffering is to avoid walking on the affected part of the foot, by adjusting weight to fall more towards the toes. This has the affect of impacting on our gait and changing our general movement patterns.
What can you do?
- In the short term, cease the activity that may have caused it
- Look into footwear that may offer more support
- Stretching and massage of the achilles tendon and calf muscles
- Massage and stretching of the sole of the foot
- Address any poor movement and posture patterns acquired
- Slowly reintroduce activity as your situation improves
As always seek advice from your recognised health care professional.