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Plantar Fasciitis

What is the Plantar Fascia?


The plantar fascia is a thick connective tissue that lines the base of your foot. It provides you with a stable base to stand on, propels ourselves forwards and absorbs shock while doing so.


Increased stress on this tissue can lead to a plantar fasciitis, presenting as sharp pain especially in the mornings or after a period of rest.





The stats:


  • 1 in 10 people experience it, most likely between the ages of 45 and 64

  • Women are 2.5 times more likely to experience plantar fasciitis than men

  • Those with a BMI > 30 were 5 times more likely than those with < 25


(NIH, 2018)


Causes:


As with most overuse injuries Plantar Fasciitis starts when the load exceeds what the tissue can tolerate. Some factors include:

  • Increases or changes in walking/running loads (speed, distance, inclines)

  • Change in surfaces (eg. soft sand)

  • Reduced foot/lower limb muscle strength

  • Poor footwear or foot mechanics

  • Increases in weight





Treatment:


Every case is managed differently based on your specific factors. Strategies may include:

  • Load modification

  • Strengthening exercises

  • Footwear changes

  • Orthotics (provided by a podiatrist)

  • Manual therapy (massage, dry needling)

  • Medication (NSAIDs, Cortisone injections)

  • Ice packs

  • Taping





Prognosis:


Plantar fasciitis can be a very frustrating condition, having its good and bads days. Most cases recover within a few months, but it can sometimes take years to resolve.


The good news is that it responds well to conservative management, and only in very rare cases does it require surgery. Book in with one of our physios to learn more!

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