19 Feb PLANTAR FASCIITIS
Plantar fasciitis refers to the inflammation of the plantar fascia, a thick band of fibrous connective tissue at the bottom of the foot that connects the heel bone to the ball of the foot to the toe bones.
The main symptom is an intense, stabbing pain at the bottom of the foot, just in front of the heel. The pain is typically most severe when one takes the first few steps in the morning. As you continue to move through the day, the pain typically decreases, however, it might return when one stands for long periods of time or when standing up after sitting for a while.
The plantar fascia is the shape of a bowstring and provides support to the arch of the foot as well as shock absorption when walking or running. It also provides important sensory information to the brain regarding the positioning of the ankle and foot. When the tension and/or stress on the “bowstring” becomes too great, swelling, bruising or even small tears may occur in the tissue. Repeated stretching and/or tearing of the fascia can cause irritation and inflammation which leads to pain, however, in many cases the cause of Plantar fasciitis remains unclear.
Plantar fasciitis is more common in some than in others. Runners, people who are overweight and those who wear shoes that do not provide adequate support have an increased risk of plantar fasciitis.
While plantar fasciitis can develop without obvious cause, certain factors may put one at increased risk of developing the condition.
These factors include:
- Age – the fascia loses elasticity with age, making one more vulnerable to injury as one gets older. The condition is most common between 40 – 60 years of age.
- Weight – the heavier one is, the more stress placed on the plantar fascia.
- Mechanics of the Foot – A flat foot, high arch or even an abnormal walking pattern can affect weight distribution when standing and moving which can put added stress on the plantar fascia.
- Occupation – Those who spend most of the workday walking or standing on hard surfaces (e.g. factory workers, teachers, etc) are at higher risk.
- Exercise – Certain activities (such as running, dancing, aerobics, etc.) place a great amount of pressure on the heel of the foot and its attached tissue which may trigger the onset of plantar fasciitis.
While the pain may be bearable, ignoring plantar fasciitis for too long may result in chronic heel pain that may eventually hinder one’s daily activity. Patients sometimes alter the way they walk in an attempt to relieve the pain but doing so may potentially lead to other foot, knee, hip and/or back problems.
While there are many treatment options available, an osteopathic approach may prove beneficial.
Osteopathic treatment may include gentle manipulation to realign the bones and soft tissue in the foot. Manipulative therapy is a full-body approach to healing and the osteopath will also look at the alignment of other parts of the body such as the ankles, legs and hips. At osteovision our practitioners will use several techniques to align bones, muscles and/or ligaments that are misaligned which include the application of pressure, targeted stretching, elements of massage and other exercises. They will likely prescribe further steps to be taken at home such as additional exercise and stretches, the regular resting and icing of the foot, the wearing of appropriate footwear and insoles that will help stabilise gait, provide support to the arch, promote proper posture.
A foot specialist in Camberley can help resolve your foot pain issues. We are also available in Frimley & Guildford. Improve your quality of life today.
Cram Osteopaths. 2020. Osteopathy Can Help with Plantar Fasciitis. [online] Available at: <https://www.cramosteopaths.co.uk/2020/02/25/osteopathy-can-help-with-plantar-fasciitis/> [Accessed 20 January 2021].
Essential Osteopathy. 2019. Plantar Fasciitis. [online] Available at: <https://www.essentialosteopathy.co.uk/blog/lower-body/plantar-fascitis/> [Accessed 20 January 2021].
Harvard Health Publishing. 2007. Easing the Pain of Plantar Fasciitis. [online] Available at: <https://www.health.harvard.edu/newsletter_article/easing_the_pain_of_plantar_fasciitis> [Accessed 20 January 2021].