Plantar fasciitis is a common cause of pain of the foot. The plantar fascia is a thick band of connective tissue that connects your heel bone to your toes. The plantar fascia provides support and rigidity to the foot, acting like a sping during walking and jumping movements. The plantar fascia is capable of absorbing high levels of force and effectively transferring those forces up the legs (kinetic chain). Plantar fasciitis is a common injury for people that are long time sedentary and suddenly begin exercise. A sedentary lifestyle doesn’t load the structures of the foot, e.g. the plantar fascia with enough load or repetition to enough tolerance for the level of training stressors. It is because of this deconditioning when you resume exercise that the plantar fascia is commonly injured. It is a common condition for tradies, nurses, teachers, retail workers and others that spend large portions of their workday on their feet. This can now create daily loading of the plantar fascia, which may exceed your bodies ability to recover and repair from this stress leading to an accumulation of inflammatory markers within the plantar fascia resulting in pain.
Risk factors of Plantar Fasciitis:
- Overpronation of your feet during walking
- High arches
- Tight calf muscles and limited ankle range of motion.
- You stand or exercise for long durations more so on hard surfaces such as asphalt.
- Acute injuries
- You are overweight and sedentary
- Old shoes that no longer support you correctly.
Myotherapy and Remedial Massage treatments for plantar fasciitis involve direction treatment to the plantar fascia and lower leg muscles to improve the blood flow, muscle length relationships and mobility of the ankle & foot joints. Soft tissue and joint mobilisation treatments are often paired with corrective exercises and education around correct footwear to increase strength and decrease the stress of the plantar fascia.