Painful Foot Arches – Plantar Fasciitis (Sore Feet) / Heel Spurs
Do you wake up and limp when you get out of bed?
You could be suffering from the common condition known as plantar fasciitis. The plantar fascia is the connective tissue that supports the bones of the foot and maintains the arch. When this becomes inflamed you have plantar fasciitis. The inflammation most commonly occurs at the fascia’s attachment to the heel bone.
Plantar fasciitis is an overuse injury. It may build up over a period of weeks or months. This is because when you walk or run your fascia absorbs load every time your foot lands on the ground. If you increase the amount of walking or running you do, the fascia needs to absorb stress more often and may get inflamed. People who pronate (flat feet) are more likely to have problems, as their fascia is required to absorb more force.
Appropriate shoes: You MUST have good footwear if you walk or run regularly. Stretch: Ensure you stretch your calves before you walk. Tight calves can increase pronation.
How Physio Helps
- Overall Posture Assessment is very important as a postural disfunction can lead to increased loading in different parts of your foot which causes pain.
- We may prescribe orthotics to reduce pronation and the forces experienced by the plantar fascia during walking. This can be done using our computerised GAIT SCANNING equipment.
- Identify heel spurs: Sometimes plantar fasciitis can lead to heel spurs on the heel bone. A spur is excessive bone growth. These are extremely painful whenever weight-bearing. Heel spurs occur due to tight plantar fascia pulling on the bone where the fascia inserts. This results in inflammation at this site and excessive bone growth results leading to the spur. The spurs can spontaneously reabsorb if the foot is rested and the plantar fascia stretched.
- Tape the arch of your foot. Taping of the arch is very important as it absorbs load when walking so the fascia can rest. Taping can result in an instant reduction in symptoms. Sometimes taping and rest for a few days is all that is needed to resolve the problem.
- Prescribe specific exercise to strengthen the small muscles of the foot and stretch tight calf and foot muscles. This is a very important part of your rehabilitation.