Do you experience any of the following symptoms?
- mild to severe pain on the sole of your foot / heel, especially first thing in the morning or after being seated for an extended period of time?
- inflammation in the sole of your foot?
- ‘fallen arches’ or flat feet?
If so, you may be experiencing Plantar Fasciitis, an overuse condition resulting in the inflammation of the plantar fascia. [Plantar (sole of foot), fascia (a connective tissue) and ‘itis’ (inflammation)].
Plantar fasciitis is the most common cause of foot pain in athletes, and also affects those that stand for prolonged periods of time. The plantar fascia acts like a bowstring during walking phases and when coming up onto the toes. Overuse and stress causes tissue fatigue and microtearing.
Excessive pronation (weight on inside edges of feet, sometimes caused by flat feet) also stretches the plantar fascia, supporting ligaments and intrinsic muscles of the feet, leading to more microtearing. Conversely, excessive supination (weight on outside edges of feet) and increased body weight can place greater compressive forces at the heel, requiring the heel fat pad and the fascia to absorb more stress / shock. This in turn causes the soleus muscle of the calf to compensate, and further compounds the stress placed on the fascial attachments. Bone spurs on the heel may also result.
Therapeutic massage can help alleviate the symptoms of plantar fasciitis, and get you hopping, skipping and jumping again.
Some causes include..
- overuse (ie: overtraining, poor technique, running on hard surfaces, prolonged standing, running, dancing)
- poor biomechanics (ie: excessive pronation or supination)
- short / tight muscles (particularly of the lower leg)
- improper / worn out footwear
- weight gain (including pregnancy)