What is Plantar Fasciitis

Plantar fascia is the thick connective tissue that runs along the base of the foot. It is connected to the bones, ligaments and muscles in our feet and it supports the arch of our foot. Its main role is to absorb and distribute the forces evenly in the leg and feet.
Plantar fasciitis is the degenerative process of this connective tissue and is characterised by scarring, inflammation and breakdown in feet biomechanics. It is the most common cause of heel pain and roughly 10% of the population will suffer from plantar fasciitis at some point in their lifetime.

Plantar Fasciitis Symptoms

  • Sharp pain
  • 70% on one side only (though the other side can also be affected due to the body compensating for the symptoms)
  • Pain is worse with weight bearing (standing/walking) on heel after prolonged rest
  • A majority of sufferers report the pain they feel during the first few steps after sleeping or sitting to be the worse

Plantar Fasciitis Causes

Plantar fasciitis is not caused by heel spurs; it is caused by excessive stress or forces on the connective tissue of the plantar fascia such as:

  • Being obese or overweight
  • Sudden weight gain during pregnancy
  • Prolonged standing or walking
  • Force placed on the foot during long distance running or sports that involve a lot of jumping
  • Feet problems such as flat or high arches, bunions and tight Achilles tendon can alter the biomechanics of the leg
  • Footwear with thin soles and poor arch support

Plantar Fasciitis Treatment

  • Rest from activities that stress the plantar fascia or worsen the condition
  • Heat to increase blood circulation
  • Ice immediately after stressful activities
  • Strengthening exercises for the muscles of the foot, calf, hamstring and glutes
  • Stretching exercises for the calf, plantar fascia and Achilles tendon
  • Mobilising and adjusting joints of the feet and lower leg
  • Address and educate regarding lifestyle factors such as running or jumping technique, shoes, muscular imbalances and more to prevent relapse

At Fort Healthcare, feet problems are one of the most common treated problems. Feet problems can be effectively treated with the Fort Healthcare Premium Care Plan which includes:

  • Consultation with our multi-disciplinary specialist team
  • Techniques to reduce inflammation, swelling and scar tissue adhesions, muscle tightness and tension
  • Improve strength
  • Improve range of motion (ROM)
  • Correct biomechanical faults
  • Self-management: take home exercise plans and rehabilitation training advice

Plantar Fasciitis Recovery time

90% of cases are self-limiting and will resolve within a year. The time frame can be reduced significantly with treatment as well as limiting a chance of a relapse by identifying and correcting the cause.