Plantar Fasciitis Macleod

Plantar Fasciitis MacleodPlantar Fasciitis is the most common cause of heel and arch pain. The plantar fascia is a thick, fibrous band of connective tissue originating in the heel bone and extending along the sole of the foot towards your toes. It acts to support the arch of your foot and also as a spring to help us push off the foot. When your plantar fascia develops micro tears or becomes thickened and inflamed, it is known as plantar fasciitis.

Plantar fasciitis generally occurs as a result of increased loads placed on the foot. Starting a new activity or just increasing the amount of your current activities may be enough to create symptoms. Poor biomechanics that increase the load on the plantar fascia is another cause. Symptoms vary in intensity, but can be quite debilitating, and are generally worse first thing in the morning and after prolonged weightbearing. Treatment follows three phases

  1. Offloading
    The main aim is to decrease the load on the plantar fascia. Often this is achieved via activity modification, support through taping, orthotics, use of appropriate footwear, mobilising stiff joints and releasing tight structures. The use of ice and anti-inflammatory medication can be helpful.
  2. Strengthening
    A program of weightbearing exercise to increase the load capacity of the plantar fascia tissue once the symptoms have settled. These exercises also aim to correct poor biomechanics that abnormally load the plantar fascia.
  3. Return to sport / activity
    Final phase of management is to return to normal sporting loads. You should be continuing your stretch and strength exercises as we build the load up to 100%.

Occasionally additional intervention in the form of a steroid injection may be required to assist you through the three phases of management. Your physiotherapist will guide you through the decision making process regarding this.

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