Plantar Fasciitis - What you Need to Know

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Plantar Fasciitis is one of the most common causes of heel pain – inflammation of the plantar fascia, a thick band of tissue connecting your heel bone to your toes and supporting the arch of your foot.

Most likely felt as a stabbing pain in the bottom of your foot near the heel. Worse in the morning when first getting up and easing as you start to move around; however, it can increase if you spend long hours standing or seated, as well as after physical activity.

 

How did I get it?

Increased tension and stress on the fascia can cause small tears; repetitive tearing and strain cause the tissue to become inflamed. Some of the more common factors that can lead to plantar fasciitis are:

  • high arches

  • flat feet

  • running or walking long distances

  • standing for long periods

  • being overweight

  • wearing shoes with poor support

  • pregnancy

What can I do?

 

1. Calf Stretch

From a standing position facing a wall, place your palms on the wall for light support. Step the injured foot back about a foot and lean forward, bending the front knee but keeping the back heel on the ground at all times. If you don’t feel the stretch in the back of your lower leg, step your injured foot back further. Hold for 30 seconds, then rest. Repeat twice on each side, three times a day

2. Fascia Rolling

From a standing position, place the injured foot on a tennis or lacrosse ball. Roll between your heel bone to right before the ball of your foot (do not roll over any bones for 60 seconds on each foot three times a day to stretch the plantar fascia.

 

3. Towel Stretch

Seated on the floor with your legs extended out in front of you, place a rolled towel under the arches of both feet. Grabbing the ends of the towel gently pull the tops of your feet towards you.  Hold for 30 seconds, repeat two times, three times a day.

4. Big Toe Stretch

Sit in a chair, and extend your affected leg so that your heel is on the floor. With your hand, reach down and pull your big toe up and back. Pull toward your ankle and away from the floor. Hold the position for 30 seconds. Repeat twice on each foot, three times a day.

 

In addition to these stretches it is also important to rest your feet, wear supportive footwear and seek out manual therapy from a registered massage therapist and/or physiotherapist to speed up healing time.