So Plantar Fasciitis is the fancy term for pain along the bottom of your foot, usually around the heel or arch. It is caused by straining the plantar fascia which becomes inflamed. The plantar fascia is a piece of tissue that connects your heel bone to your toes.
WHAT MIGHT CAUSE IT?
There are many factors that might cause plantar fasciitis. Some include:
- Exercise on hard surfaces
- Exercising with a tight calf muscle
- Recent increase in exercises such as walking, running and standing.
- Wearing shoes with poor cushioning and support such as flip flops, ballet pumps and really old trainers.
If you experience pain when you start walking after sleeping or resting, if it loosens and feels better during exercise but then comes back after resting, and if it is hard to raise your toes off the floor – it most likely could be plantar fasciitis.
HOW CAN I HELP IT?
Initial rest, ice, and elevate will help to reduce any inflammation within the plantar fascia. It is important to wear shoes with adequate support and cushioning, You should not be able to feel the ground you are walking on through the shoes you are wearing. A period of non-impact exercises such as cycling, x-trainer, or swimming.
Here are some exercises to try at home to stretch and mobilise the plantar fascia. Hold the stretches for 30-45seconds.
- Use a towel to apply gentle pressure through the foot and calf as you pull it towards you.
Plantar Fascia Rolling:
- Use a roller, massage/tennis balls, a can of cold drink to roll the bottom of the foot. Apply pressure so you can feel any tender spots, and hold the foot over that point for a few deep breaths or until it releases.
Towel Pick Up:
- Place a towel on the floor and use the toes to scrunch it up.
Plantar Fascia Stretch:
- Place toes against the wall and apply a downwards pressure. This should be felt along the sole of the foot.
Sports Massage can also help to relieve any tightness through the sole of the foot, shins and calves, and used alongside the above exercises and correct footwear; your plant-y-fas-y-something should start to improve!
Written by Rhea Malkin BSc (Hons) Sports Therapist and STOTT/APPI Pilates Instructor.