Common Lower Limb Injuries - Plantar Fasciitis?

Do you have pain or stiffness in your foot as soon as you get out of bed that improves as you walk around? If so you may very well have plantar fasciitis!

The plantar fascia is a thick band of tissue that connects your heel to the base of your toes, running along the bottom of your foot. It acts as a shock absorber & helps to maintain your stability in walking & running. If the fascia is overloaded, this can result in irritation, inflammation & pain.

Symptoms:

* Pain in the heel (this can be a sharp/stabbing sensation

or a deep ache/throb)

* Pain after prolonged rest

* Pain after prolonged activity

* Pain that worsens when standing on your toes or

climbing the stairs

* Tenderness when pressing the bottom of the heel

* Pain when flexing the ankle (drawing your toes towards

your knee)

* Limping (avoidance of putting weight through your heel)

Possible reasons for developing plantar fasciitis:

* Sudden & large increase in running or walking distance

* Lack of flexibility in lower back, hamstrings or calves

* Foot mechanics i.e. rolling inwards

* Being overweight thereby increasing the load going

through the foot

* Wearing unsupportive footwear such as flip flops!

* Spending a lot of time on your feet

* Weakness of shin or gluteal muscles

* Restriction in ankle movement

How can I help myself?

  1. Stretch your calf & foot muscles on a regular basis i.e. daily

  2. Use ice massage - fill a small bottle with water & pop it in the freezer. Once frozen you can remove it & roll it under your foot.

  3. Roll a tennis ball under your foot as an alternative or addition to the ice massage

  4. Cut back on the activity that is causing the issue & cross train instead. So if you are having issues running or walking, try some low impact activities such as swimming, cycling, Pilates or yoga

  5. See a health professional who can assess you & work out why you have heel pain & provide some rehabilitation advice to get you back to doing what you love!

If you are unsure if you have plantar fasciitis or of the cause of your foot pain please be sure to visit a health professional who can help you to resolve the issue!

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