The plantar fascia is a think band of tissue running along the sole of the foot from a point on the inside area of the heel towards the toes. Pain can either be felt at the heel area or along the think and large central band. This condition affects 10-15% of the population making it very common. It is most commonly present In middle aged females and the athletic population.
The role of the plantar fascia is to stabilize the foot in a weight bearing position. It acts as a shock absorber and supports the arch of your foot and therefore helps you in walking.
Signs and Symptoms
- Heel pain with first steps in the morning or after long periods of non-weight bearing and usually eases with activity
- Tenderness around the heel area or around the bottom mid-foot
- A limp may be present
- Pain is usually worse when barefoot on hard surfaces and with stair climbing
Home treatments like rest, icing and anti-inflammatory drugs are often the first ways to treat plantar fasciitis. Physiotherapy can help to stretch and strengthen the affected area and lower limb and to show you effective ways to improve your walking and lessen the pressure on your plantar fascia. Other passive modalities such as therapeutic ultrasound, extracorpeal shockwave therapy and laser therapy may also sometimes be used. If these modalities don’t ease the pain, a corticosteroid injection is usually recommended.
- Wear supportive shoes with good arch support
- Replace your athletic footwear regularly. If you’re a runner, around 400 to 500 miles is the limit for each pair of shoes before you should buy new ones.
- Incorporate low-impact exercises into your routine, like swimming or bicycling. Avoid overworking your plantar fascia with very frequent running.
- Warm up your lower limbs well before running
- Do your best to stay at a healthy weight. If you’re overweight, try to lose weight to reduce pressure on your plantar fascia.