Longevity Exercise Physiology Drummoyne,Edgecliff,Marrickville,Bella Vista, Randwick, Lindfield and Balmain discuss plantar fasciitis; what it is, common risk factors and symptoms and how exercise can help in the treatment.

What is Plantar Fasciitis?

The plantar fascia is a ligament that connects your heel bone to your toes and its role is to absorb shock and support the arch of your foot. The plantar fascia is designed to absorb high stresses, but when the stress becomes greater than what the ligament can tolerate, damage occurs, and the plantar fascia becomes inflamed.

Common risk factors include:

· Tighter calf muscles

· Being overweight

· Being flat-footed or having a high arch

· Repetitive impact activity (running/sports)

· New or increased activity without progressive overload

Common symptoms:

· Pain on the bottom of the foot near the heel

· Pain in the morning, or after a long period of rest.

· Greater pain after (not during) exercise

How can an Exercise Physiologist help?

The initial stages after diagnosis of plantar fasciitis can involve medication to manage pain and inflammation, an icepack applied to your foot a few times during the day and/or seeking advice from a Podiatrist or Physiotherapist. The initial stages will also involve managing load placed on the foot as the plantar fascia heals and addressing the underlying weaknesses/causes.

Since plantar fasciitis is often caused by tight plantar fascia or calf muscles, stretching these areas is an effective way to relieve the pain and help resolve the underlying problem. Strengthening the whole foot and lower limb is also very important for long term recovery and avoiding a recurrence. Check out the video below for ideas on how to start strengthening the plantar fascia and foot muscles.

Here Courtney shows us a Standing Calf Stretch (Gastrocnemius):

1. Place hands on the wall for support. The back leg should have a straight knee and the front leg a bent knee. Shift forward, keeping your back leg heel on the ground, so that you feel a stretch in the calf muscle of the back leg.

2. Hold 45 seconds, repeat 4-6 times per day.

Here Courtney shows us a Standing Calf Stretch (Soleus):

 

1. Place hands on the wall for support. The back leg should have a bent knee and the front leg a bent knee. Shift forward, keeping your back leg heel on the ground, so that you feel a stretch in the calf muscle of the back leg.

2. Hold 45 seconds, repeat 4-6 times per day.

Contact Longevity on 1300 964 002 to find out how we can help you.

Written by Courtney Maher