Defeating Plantar Fasciitis
Plantar fasciitis is inflammation of the plantar fascia, a part of your foot that connects your heel bone to your toes. There is a lot of help and advise available for plantar fasciitis, however rehabilitation can be a bumpy road to full recovery, as a knock back is generally not that far behind you.
The reason for this blog, is that I have seen a great increase in the number of clients being treated for plantar fasciitis. I understand the process of getting better from a sports therapists perspective and from having had the injury myself.
Why do you get plantar fasciitis? It can be a repetitive strain injury caused by incorrect mechanics compromising the plantar fascia, poor footwear or a landing injury. I think understanding the why's in any injury will play a key role in your rehabilitation. With the What and Whys out of the way, here are my top 10 tips in solving plantar fasciitis.
1. Asses your situation.
Get a full mechanical assessment on your body as this will help you understand the reason behind your injury. One shoe does not fit all and therefore getting a rehabilitation program specifically to your needs will give you the best chance of recovery.
2.Get a calf board
If your ankle mobility is reduced, it is important to increase this by stretching out the calves. Building your time up on the calf board on a regular basis is a really helpful way of preventing and recovering from Plantar fasciitis.
3. Dry needling
Dry needling and Pecking techniques are two really useful treatments when suffering from heel, ankle and foot pain. The foot does not recover from injury as quickly as other areas of the body, so increasing blood flow can really help with this.
4. Regular sports massage
Sports massage will really help eliminate pain in the foot and improve mechanical troubles. It may be that your therapist needs to work on other areas as part of your overall recovery. The mechanical assessment from your first appointment will highlight the issues that need to be worked on.
5. Supportive shoes that work for you!
The cause of every injury varies from person to person, therefor the correct footwear will also vary. A good orthopaedic slipper is great around the house, and I have found varying my footwear on a day to day basis helped reduce repetitive strain. This may not work for you, however I would recommend investing the time in understanding what does work.
6. Be consistent
Consistency is key when moving through the stages of injury management and prevention. Plantar fasciitis is a very frustrating injury because set backs are common, and I would try not get disheartened with a bad day. Consistency also marries up with understanding what inflames the injury, and what to avoid in your week to week routine to avoid flare ups.
7. Weight control
Excess weight loads all joints much more then you think and certainly is an aggravation to areas like the foot, knee and hip. If you are over weight then I would consider getting advise from a qualified trainer to help you healthily manage your weight, as impact training and too much aerobic exercise performed incorrectly will aggravate your injury.
8. Foot exercises - I am currently working on putting together some videos on instagram which I hope will be ready soon (I am not very technically clued up so it does take me a while). Once these videos are uploaded I hope to put them on my website under member login. Exercises will also be available as part of your personalised program.
9. Rolling on a frozen can
If the foot has become hot and aggravated then the anti-inflammatory process of ice, anti-inflammatories and rest will help. Rolling on a tin that has been frozen is a very nice and soothing method of reducing pain.
10. Night splints
Sleeping with pointed toes can cause plantar fasciitis to be very painful in the morning. Night splints to keep the foot in a slightly dorsiflexed position does really help.
If you are suffering with plantar fasciitis and need help in any way, please get in touch to disucss treatment.