Plantar Fasciitis and Treatments

Running and walking can be very painful if you are unlucky enough to get Plantar Fasciitis.

What is it? PF

  • Inflammation of thick tissues connecting heel bone to toe bones spanning the foot’s arch.

Who gets it?

  • 7-10% of the general population; especially 40-70 age. Women more than men.

What does it feel like?

  • Dull, sharp, burning or achy heel and/or arch pain.

What causes it?

  • Repetitive excess tension creating tears in the tissues.
  • May be intensified after extended times of sitting, standing, sleeping or when climbing stairs and after intense activity including downhill running.

Why does it happen?

  • Poor choice of footwear with under supported arches.
  • Flat footed over-pronators.
  • Overweight flattens arches.
  • Excess time on hard surfaces.
  • Over activity that stresses Calf muscles.

What to do about it?

  • Seek treatment as soon as possible otherwise the condition will most likely intensify over time and become harder to rectify.

Treatments.

  • Podiatrist treatments can include custom orthotics and footwear, cortisone steroid shots, splinting through to complete immobilization of the foot and lower leg in a cast or surgery.
  • Physical Therapy athletic taping and stabilizing of ankle and heel.
  • Therapeutic massage, specifically to the entire lower leg and foot soft tissues, along with practitioner induced stretching.

Self help.

  • Ice inflamed tissues 10-15 mins; 3 to 4 times/day.
  • Anti-inflammatory medications.
  • Night splints.

Corrective Exercise. After acute conditions have settled down.

Calf Stretch

Calf Stretch

Stretch Calf Muscles.

Gastrocnemius. Place palms on wall shoulder width apart and just below shoulder height. Place one foot back a suitable distance with heel in contact with the ground. Make sure toes are pointing forwards and not turned out or in, but perpendicular to the wall. The other foot is placed forward comfortably with a bent knee. Back leg is straight with no knee bend and your butt should be out a little naturally. Now bring your butt in keeping your back heel on the ground so that ankle, hip, shoulder and ear lobe are in alignment. You should feel a stretch in your calf muscles, if not readjust. Hold 30-60 sec, 1-3 reps, 1-3x/day

Soleus. Exactly the same as above except that back leg is not straight but bent at the knee (think telemark skiing).

 

Foam Roll Calf Muscles

Foam Roll Calf Muscles

Foam Roll Calf Muscles.

Sit on the floor with both legs long, back comfortably upright by trying not to lean backwards too far and both palms or knuckles on the floor just behind hips. Place the belly of calf muscles on top of the foam roller and search for a tender position then stop and stay on it. Press your torso upwards by raising your butt off the floor and cross the other foot over the lower foot. Over the next 30 seconds slowly point the bottom foot and toes away and then slowly pull them back up towards your body 4x. This should increase the pressure on your calf muscle as body weight is fully supported by a tripod position of two hands pushing your butt up from the ground and point loading on the foam roller.

After you have done this 1x for 30 seconds take a brief rest, move the roller one inch up or down and repeat the exercise before switching to the other leg.

Foam Roll Peroneus Longus

Foam Roll Peroneus Longus

Foam Roll Peroneus Longus.

Sit on the floor with both legs long, back comfortably upright by trying not to lean backwards too far and both palms or fist knuckles on the floor just behind hips. Turn your left or right foot out so the lateral side of your leg is presented to the floor. You might need to bend the knee slightly. Place the midpoint of the Peroneal muscles on top of the foam roller and search for a tender position then stop and stay on it. Press your torso upwards by raising your butt off the floor and cross the other foot over the lower foot. You may be leaning slightly with hips angled. Over the next 30 seconds slowly point the bottom foot and toes away and then slowly pull them back up towards your body 4x. This should increase the pressure on Peroneus Longus muscle as body weight is fully supported by a tripod position of two hands pushing your butt up from the ground and point loading on the foam roller.

After you have done this 1x for 30 seconds take a brief rest, move the roller one inch up or down and repeat the exercise before moving on to the other leg.

Stretch the Plantar Surface of the foot.

  • In a seated position with bare foot on the floor, bend over and put your fingers under all five toes then pull your toes only towards your shin bone, tibia, keeping the sole of the foot firmly pushed into the floor. You will feel the plantar surface stretch. Hold for 5-10 seconds and repeat as often as necessary.