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WHAT IS PLANTAR FASCIITIS?

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Have you ever felt pain the in bottom of your heel or mid foot area?

Plantar Fasciitis is one of the most common heel complaints. Here is everything you need to know about the common cause of Plantar Fasciitis!

What is the Plantar Fascia?

The Plantar Fascia is the thick fibrous band of connective tissue that supports your arch and acts as a shock absorber helping you walk and run.

What causes Plantar Fasciitis?

Plantar Fasciitis is one of the most common source’s of heel pain that we see in the clinic. When your foot is on the ground, your arch flattens and the fascia stretches — often with the wear and tear of daily life too much pressure can damage and cause micro tears in the ligaments. Because of this the fascia goes into recovery mode as a healing response and becomes swollen. This inflammation causes pain, stiffness and discomfort in the heel or arch of the foot.

Plantar fasciitis is most commonly associated with impact and running sports. While people of all activity levels can develop plantar fasciitis, runners and busy people on their feet are especially susceptible to this affliction because of repeated stress on the essential muscles of the foot. It usually is common in one foot but can affect both feet.

How can I prevent it?

There are things you can do to avoid Plantar Fasciitis.

Buying shoes from a running-specific store instead of a department store, will help you to find the right shoe that will provide adequate foot support. An added bonus in finding the right shoe for you, will also reduce the likelihood in developing other potential injuries to the back, hips, knees and ankles AND minimise the chance of developing bunions. Some people tend to inherit the use of orthotics (insoles) to help support their feet, however if the orthotics that aren’t designed for your body are inserted into your shoes, potential injuries may arise. It is always advised that you get assessed by your Osteopath or Podiatrist before implementing these into your regular footwear.

If you’re a keen runner another prevention tactic may be to reduce your running stride. When runners over stride, the fascia is under maximal stretch and a short stride not only shortens the fascia, it also takes strain off the Achilles tendon and shin fascia — two other common places for running injuries. Your Osteopath and Foot Specialist will help you to determine if this change is appropriate for your running stride.

What treatment will I need?

Treatment with you health practitioner is vital to correct your foot and leg biomechanics to ease the symptoms and prevent future Plantar Faciitis from occuring or more serious injuries. Often ice packs and anti-inflammatories can be used in the initial stages of the injury, in particular when the injury is very painful, after runs or first thing in the morning may beneficial.

On going treatment with your Osteopath can also help with relief and reduce any potential injuries in the future. Treatment will depend on your assessment as it can vary from person to person. It may include:

– Manual therapy

– Myofascial release

– Soft tissue release of calves and plantar fascia

– Mobilisation of ankle and joints of the foot

– Prescription exercises and stretches

– Foot and ankle taping

Plantar Fasciitis can be incredibly painful, especially for the long-distance runners, but with the good news is can be reversible and successfully treatable. With the right treatment and prevention methods, most people find significant improvements within two months of initial treatment. Speak with with you health practitioner for more specific advice on your heel pain at your next appointment.

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If you would like to make an appointment with one of our amazing Osteopath’s,

you can find out more about them here or book an appointment with online here.

Alternatively, you can contact the clinic on 03 9908 2844.

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