17 Jan What is Plantar Fasciitis & What Can I Do About It?
Plantar fasciitis is one of the most common forms of heel pain. That occurs when your plantar fascia, becomes irritated and inflamed from overuse.
Your plantar fascia is a thick connective tissue that runs from your heel to your toes. When this tissue becomes inflamed, it can cause heel pain that is often felt first thing in the morning and subsides through the day.
WHY DOES PLANTAR FASCIITIS OCCUR?
Plantar fasciitis is commonly seen in people who have increased physical activity or are on their feet for long hours of the day. There are also a number of other reasons that may cause Plantar fasciitis:
- playing sports and doing activities that put stress on the heel bone, such as running, dance or aerobics
- being flat-footed
- having high arches
- being middle-aged or older
- being overweight
- spending a lot of time on your feet
- wearing shoes with poor arch support or stiff soles
WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS?
The main symptom is pain under the heel, which can be dull or sharp. The foot sole may ache or burn and the heel may be slightly swollen. The pain is often worse:
- in the morning, as you take your first steps
- after prolonged standing or sitting
- after intense activity or exercise
HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO HEAL?
Plantar fasciitis can resolve by itself in 6 to 18 months. This is a long time to be dealing with pain. In our experience, though through treatment, rest and management, most cases resolve in 3 months.
HOW CAN AN OSTEOPATH HELP?
As osteopaths, we look at your foot and ankle mechanics while considering the whole body. This is because decrease movement in your ankle can lead to dysfunction in your hips and lower back. Some muscles attach to your heel that can pull on your plantar fasciitis aggravating it more. We use a range of different approaches, including stretching, massage, and movement and balancing. This means we can help resolve your pain without it affecting your work commitments.
WHAT CAN YOU DO AT HOME?
Here are some things you can do at home to help reduce your heel pain
- Wear supportive shoes with good cushioning when running, walking or standing for prolonged periods, so the arches of your foot are well supported
- Use a massage ball under the arch of your foot to reduce muscle tension and pulling on your heel
- Talk to a professional to see if an orthotic (arch or heel support) may help during the healing process
If any of these symptoms sound like you, give us a call on 03 5200 1044 or book online HERE. We are always happy to help!