How to treat Plantar Fasciitis

Plantar Fasciitis is the inflammation of the plantar fascia on the sole of your feet. The plantar fascia is a

Plantar Fasciitis is the inflammation of the plantar fascia on the sole of your feet.

The plantar fascia is a double layered fibrous tissue on the plantar (sole) side of your foot. It attaches to the calcaneus, the heel bone, and then fans forward to attach to the base of all the toes. This attachment means that the plantar fascia helps to maintain the integrity of the arch of the feet, and also functions to transmit force from the ground, as we walk, stand, or play, to the bones muscles and ligaments of the foot, ankle, lower leg, knee etc (the foot bone is connected to the shin bone after all!). And, what goes up, must come down as well, so as force is transmitted from the surfaces we walk/run/play on up the body, so too, what happens from above, affects the tissues below. As such, the causes of plantar fasciitis can be many and varied and may include knee, ankle and hip injuries or compensations above, muscle hypertonia (tight calves and hamstrings for example), as well as direct trauma (compression or over-stretching) of the plantar fascia itself – including poorly fitted shoes or repetitive injuries.

The other factor which really comes in to play with foot problems, and plantar fasciitis is included under this umbrella, is the modern ailment of jamming our very sensory feet in to sense dulling shoes. There are 26 bones in each foot, and more than 100 muscles, tendons and ligaments, and this structure of the foot is really for informing us, our body/brain, about the terrain that it is covering. Tight and immobile feet and toes contribute greatly to increased load on the plantar fascia, which in turn increases the likelihood if irritation and inflammation.

Non-surgical treatment

You firstly want to identify any causative factors, which could be any of the following:

  • Poor lower limb and lumbo-pelvic mechanics such as flat feet, knock knees and weak glutes
  • Being overweight (increases the load/strain on the plantar fascia)
  • Poor footwear (unsupportive or lacking shock absorption), especially if working on feet all day.
  • Tightness in the lower limb muscles, especially the calf and plantar fascia itself
  • Stiffness in the ankle joint and surrounding foot joints, especially the big toe.

Effective treatment of plantar fasciitis should take all these factors in to account, but primarily, non-surgical treatment of the plantar fascia should include stretching of the calves, hamstrings and plantar fascia, the use of ice when acute, say a frozen water bottle rolled in the arch of the foot, working on balance and proprioception of the foot and ankle (try brushing your teeth while standing on one leg!) as well as massage of the plantar fascia with a massage ball/tennis ball/ golf ball and articulation of the bones of the feet and toes.

Treatment options include:

  • Manual therapy such as osteopathy, providing soft tissue massage to the lower limb, mobilising joint restrictions in the lower limb and instruction on strength and stretch measures to improve glute and core strength, flexibility in the ankle and arch integrity. They may also strap/tape the arch to assist in arch support in the short term, and to determine whether orthotics may be indicated. (Referral to a podiatrist may be required).
  • Certain medications such as NSAID’s (anti-inflammatories) may assist in reducing inflammation and provide a degree of symptomatic relief. (Long term use is not recommended however, as it may only act like a band-aid, and not get to the cause of the problem)
  • Assessment from a podiatrist may reveal an underlying mechanical issue that may require a supportive orthotic device, or they may provide advice on appropriate footwear.

What are some exercises tennis players and golfers can do to prevent plantar fasciitis?

Exercises with a particular focus on stretching the calf and icing the plantar fascia/arch post exercise, and in between bouts of exercise rolling the arch with the frozen lime (or water bottle).

By osteopaths Claire Craig and Chris Reeves

Originally published here

    • I used to have a severe form of plantar fasciitis… But, now I remember it only as a bad dream!

      I’m a busy person, so I had no time to see doctors, get acupuncture or physiotherapy. I didn’t know what to do and the pain was killing me, I could barely walk. So, I did a research hoping to find something that could help me. And guess what?

      I found one e-book which taught me a lot about plantar fasciitis, it’s symptoms, causes and how to cure it. I followed it carefully and I completely got rid of my plantar fasciitis in 3 days! Can you believe that? I thought it’s a miracle, but then I did some more research about this e-book and found a lot of satisfied people who also claimed that they cured they plantar fasciitis fast. What a finding!

      I’m leaving a link below which leads to a review of this e-book:

      I hope this will help someone as much as it did for me 🙂 Have a great day!

  1. Does every adult who worked and walked on a hard floor get this problem? Seems like it. I no longer wear high heels and am pain free after 4 yrs. of treatment and phys. therapy!!

  2. Plantar fasciitis is caused by poor posture – lower back – putting stress and pressure on muscles and ligaments in legs and feet. Adjusting posture will help immeasurably. But the inflammation in the plantar fascii tendon needs to be addressed as well. This occurs because during sleep or rest, the tendon goes flaccid at rest, and it begins to heal in that state. When you straighten the foot on rising, you flex that tendon and you create tiny tears in the newly healed tendon which then leads to pain and more inflammation. And a vicious cycle is implemented.
    I found that the best way to stop the cycle is to use a night brace which makes the tendon heal in flex instead of flaccid state. Then in the morning, there is no tearing in flex because it has been healed that way. Pain and inflammation gone.
    And I know when my posture is out because my feet start to hurt. Then I just straighten up and walk tall, and the pain in my feet eases.

    • I suffered with plantar fasciitis for years. It was painful to the point of tears, especially in the morning. I was taking panadeine for the pain. My gp referred me to a podiatrist. He recommended rolling my feet on a golf ball before bed, rubbing in Voltaren, then sleeping with a brace. It took a few weeks of perseverance but I am now pain free. He also recommended good walking shoes/ runners (roka), and never walking barefoot on hard floors.

    • Yeah. Mind did all that too.
      But it was only when I changed my posture and then used the night brace, and it was 90% better in 1 night, and completely fixed by the next night.
      And the sciatica I had suffered on and off was gone too.

  3. Need orthotics to straighten your body/adjust posture. Wear flat shoes with good shock insulation. Steroid injections in the heels also help reduce pain if you suffer from heel Spurs as this often accompanies plantar fasciitis. Oh and never ever wear shoes that have totally flat soles eh canvas boat shoes.

  4. I had it, but caused by chronic inflammation of the Achilles tendons (one thing leads to another; my gait had been affected). The series of prolotherapy glucose injections that corrected the Achilles indirectly ended the plantar fasciitis.

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