Plantar Fascia pain: walking on broken glass?

Feeling like you’re walking around on a pebble?

Hobbling like a 90 year old in the morning until you’ve had a chance to warm-up? Plantar Facia pain is one of the most common causes of foot pain that we treat- particularly in the over 40’s or long distance runners.

The plantar fascia is a thick, fibrous band which help to hold up the arch of the foot, attaching under the heel and running forwards towards the toes. This band as well as assisting holding the arch up, acts as a shock absorber in the foot. Often due to a number of factors, the plantar fascia starts getting overloaded and unlike a muscle which has the capacity to grow and strengthen in response to the load, it cannot adapt. The fascia tends to get micro-tears through it (which do not heal due to the lack of blood supply to the fascia) and the result is pain under the heel and sometimes through the arch of the foot.
Management of Plantar Fascia issues will vary from person to person depending on the factors contributing to their problem but will often involve;
  • Progressive strengthening of the calf and foot muscles to assist with the role of the plantar fascia
  • Load management (regardless of whether it is sport, work or hobbies) plays a role in helping to settle pain.
  • Strengthening of particular structures further up the chain as well correction of faulty movement patterns. For example, if you are a runner, having strong glutes will assist in propulsion and shock absorption, and hence decrease load on the plantar fascia
  • Massage through the foot
  • Taping/orthotics/footwear advice

You deserve to be pain free, focusing on the important things in life! If heel pain is giving you grief, give us a call at Ascend Physiotherapy on 9387 2699 and we’ll get you back on track.