“Each morning I have to hobble to the toilet because I get a sharp pain in my heel when I walk. It settles after a while and feels like I am walking on a bruise.” Is this you? Plantar Fasciitis is the most common cause of heel pain. According to research, 80% of all cases of Plantar Fasciitis show spontaneous improvement within 12 months. This means that if you are prepared to suffer the pain for the next year, you have an 80% chance of improvement. If you want to be a little more proactive there are a few things you can do.
The plantar fascia is a thick fibrous band of tissue that fans from the heel to the base of each toe. It helps to support the arch of the foot. Plantar Fasciitis strikes when degenerative changes occur in the fascia where it attaches to the heel. It is sometimes associated with bony heel spurs however the spurs themselves do not cause pain.
The cause of Plantar Fasciitis is often multifactorial and may include any combination of; stiff ankle joints, low arches, high arches, weak foot muscles, poor footwear or increased load due to weight gain or prolonged periods of standing. Self-treatment for this problem should involve massage to the foot arch and gentle calf stretches before rising each morning, strengthening exercises for the intrinsic muscles in the foot, a temporary decrease
in training and a gradual return to sport when it is no longer painful to walk. In addition any biomechanical issues present in the lower limbs should be addressed to prevent recurrence.
“For the fitness of you”