Plantar Fasciitis – I Can Ffeel It In My Sole!
by Jai Sappal
What is it?
Also known as Plantar Fasciopathy, it is thought to be an inflammatory process which ultimately results in degeneration through the plantar fascia (the technical phrasing being a fibrous aponeurosis (4)) origin on the inside of the foot (1). Normally, the plantar fascia provides support to the arch of the foot and gives stability (1). Plantar Fasciopathy is a very common issue and can affect as many as 1 in 10 people in their lifetime (2). It can also take some time for it to fully improve. Timelines have been observed for up to 12 months (2).
What Causes it?
There are risk factors for developing this injury. Normally it’s an injury that comes on over time and not just in one traumatic event. It’s common in both runners and those are sedentary. Being overweight, poor foot mechanics, excessive running and prolonged standing are all risk factors associated with the development of Plantar Fasciopathy (3).
What Do You Feel?
Most patients will reports pain on the bottom of the foot. It can be described as sharp pain, especially with the first few steps out of bed in the morning. If you’re standing for long periods of time, this can also make the symptoms worse. Pain might briefly improve a bit with walking or doing an exercises but will increase throughout the day as you increase your activity levels (1)
What Do I Do?
There are a quite a few joints and structures in the foot that should be assessed. The best thing if you’re suspecting plantar fasciopathy/fasciitis, is to come get an assessment done by one of our Physiotherapists as the causes are often complex and multifactorial. Treatment consists of unloading the plantar fascia through arch support or tape, and usually exercises to strengthen muscles to help unload the plantar fascia as well as techniques more specifically aimed at pain relief.
Also speak to your physiotherapist first before considering other options such as getting imaging done or asking for a surgeon’s referral. Surgery does not always guarantee a successful outcome and should be used as a last resort (1).
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