Expert Physiotherapy for Plantar Fasciitis in Bunbury, Western Australia

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Article by Damon Jones

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Published in 2024

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Plantar Fasciitis

Plantar Fasciitis – What is it and what to do about plantar fasciitis?

Plantar Fascia Introduction:

Plantar Fasciitis is a fairly common buzzword thrown around the sporting and running communities when it comes to foot pain, and often is referred to as jogger’s heel. But what exactly is it? And more importantly, what can be done about it?

What is Plantar Fasciitis?

Plantar Fasciitis often presents with a sharp pain or discomfort around the heel and instep of the foot, and is caused when the plantar fascia becomes inflamed or irritated. Typically the pain is felt when walking or running, often worse at the end of a busy day, and may be relieved by resting or elevating the affected limb. Unfortunately however, it is often reported to be the most severe when taking the first few steps after sleeping or prolonged sitting. Though the causes are often multifactorial, it is commonly associated with an increase in recent training load coupled with a weakness and tightness of the muscles that cross the ankle joint and support the foot.

What is the Plantar Fascia?

The plantar fascia is a strong, fibrous structure located on the inside of the foot. Its attachment originates on the bottom of the heel bone (calcaneus) and inserts on the head of the metatarsals (the bones that make up the mid portion of the foot). The plantar fascia’s primary function is to provide support to the inside (medial arch) of the foot, particularly acting as a shock absorber when walking, running, and especially when playing sports.

What is the role of Physiotherapy in managing Plantar Fasciitis?

Physiotherapists play a very important role in the management and recovery from Plantar Fasciitis, particularly with exercise prescription, load management, and several soft tissue techniques to help alleviate the associated pain. Often the condition is self-limiting, with patients typically making a full recovery via conservative physiotherapy management.

When visiting a physiotherapist at Veen Physiotherapy in Bunbury, we will complete a comprehensive assessment of your condition, and will create a patient-specific management plan to help achieve your goals. Some of the tools we will utilise in this management plan are:

  1. Manual Therapy and Dry Needling
    Deep tissue massage, trigger point release, and dry needling throughout the calf and plantar muscles of the foot has been shown to provide both short and long-term improvements in pain and function. Dry needling will involve the therapist inserting thin, acupuncture needles into various muscle trigger points in the leg to facilitate recovery.
  2. Taping Support
    A low-dye taping method, which reduces pronation of the foot (movement of the foot inwards) and therefore functions to offload the plantar fascia. It is often used to help manage patients with Plantar Fasciitis. It has been shown that utilising this technique in addition to the other treatment strategies leads to favourable outcomes amongst clients.
  3. Targeted and Specific Exercise Prescription
    Based on a comprehensive assessment of the factors contributing to your Plantar Fasciitis, the physiotherapist will provide a specific exercise program to help get you back to your best!
    Consistent and targeted stretching and strengthening of the muscles that cross the ankle and lie deep in our feet can help relieve your symptoms and overtime will facilitate a return to the activities you love doing!
  4. Prescription of Ice Therapy
    Ice therapy is a great technique which can be used to help relieve the pain associated with Plantar Fasciitis. It is recommended to utilise ice daily, especially after physical activity, or at the end of the day when the symptoms are often at their worst. An added tip is to use a frozen water bottle, so you can complete a simple rolling massage of the plantar fascia!

Conclusion:

Plantar Fasciitis is a common condition found in runners, and especially in those who have recently increased their activity. The condition can lead to significant pain in the heel to the instep of the foot, which can affect your walking, running and particularly engagement in sports. Fortunately however, physiotherapy treatment via a range of techniques has been shown to be effective in the management of Plantar Fasciitis, and here at Veen Physiotherapy, we are committed to providing optimal, personalised, and evidence-based care to all our clients. So don’t hesitate to book in with a Bunbury Physio Clinic such as Veen Physiotherapy to get on top of your pain and return to the activities you love!

References

Young, C. (2023, March 23). Plantar Fasciitis. Medscape. https://emedicine.medscape.com/article/86143-overview

Koc, T. A., Bise, C. G., Neville, C., Carreira, D., Martin R. L., & McDonough C. M. (2023). Heel Pain – Plantar Fasciitis: Revision 2023. Journal of Orthopaedic & Sports Physical Therapy, 53(12), CPG1-CPG39. https://www.jospt.org/doi/10.2519/jospt.2023.0303