Plantar Fasciitis, also referred to as fascriosis or fasciopathy can be a very painful condition affecting the heel and sometimes the arch of the foot. The symptoms include pain when walking, standing etc. making it a miserable condition for sufferers.
It is a common injury for runners, walkers but also very common for those people who are on their feet a lot of the time e.g. builders, teachers and nurses. It can be exacerbated by being overweight and also there is some suggestions that trauma to the heel, foot, ankle or occasionally the calf can bring on plantar fasciitis.
The information below, unless stated, is very based on my experience of treating plantar fasciitis.
From experience I have found that people with plantar fasciitis will have very tight calf muscles. This does make sense as the calf muscle attaches to the heel through the achilles tendon and if the calf is tight then this will pull on the achilles tendon creating a pull on the heel which can then affect the plantar fascia. Due to where the plantar fascia is and the fact there isn’y anything else attached to it or it can pass on the stress to it causes inflammation of the plantar fascia. Inflammation can mean pain, swelling dysfunction and heat.
So what can you do about it?
There are some things that you can do yourself:-
1) NHS Choices website suggest taking anti-inflammatories e.g. Ibuprufen alonside a pain killer e.g. Paracetemol. This will help with both the pain and the inflammation providing relief. Before taking any drugs please talk to a pharmacist as they can advise on the correct dosage as well as ensuring it is safe for you to take these drugs especially if on any other medication.
2) Ice – In my view the best way of applying ice is by filling an empty 500ml coke or diet coke bottle with water and freezing it. Then put a thin tea towel on top of the bottle (Provides a barrier to help avoid ice burns) and then gently roll your foot over the body of the bottle. This has the additional benefit of gently massaging the bottom of your foot. Make sure you’re sitting down otherwise you may well end up putting too much pressure through the foot onto the bottle causing more discomfort and inflammation.
3) Gentle stretchs of calf muscles and the plantar fascia. Please see links to a you tube video and also another document which shows the stretches – concentrate on the stretches for the foot.
Concentrating on tips 2 and 3.
Unfortunately plantar fasciitis can take a long time for recovery. I have cases which have been resolved within a fortnight but also cases that have taken more than a year to resolve. If you are overweight then some weight loss would also be advisable.
If you aren’t recovering quickly yourself then seeing a therapist may well be the best way to expedite the recovery.
So, What would you expect from the treatment with WBIC?
I would start by looking a pelvic imbalances. My view and the view of a number of other therapists is that the pelvis is the base and if there are issues with weak glutes, hip felxors or dysfunction in those areas then this can impact on the peripheral areas – in this case the feet.
The main area I would look to work through is the calf and I would be looking to release tension in the calf. In 80% of people I treat the tightness in the calf is the cause of the Plantar Fasciitis. I would also treat and massage the area of the plantar fascia which can be very sore for the client but can be very effective in relieving symptoms. I would follow this with mobilisation of the joints in the feet and the ankle.
In the early days of treatment I would also tape to offload the calf muscle and tape the arch to provide some support and hence symptomatic relief.
We find we are successful in treating Plantar Fascia however there are time where we do need to refer onto a specialist. WBIC does have contact with a podiatrist who can then help as well.
Take a look at our latest Facebook Live video all about plantar fasciitis.
I hope this has been of use however if you have any questions then please come onto the facebook page and ask a question, call or email the clinic.