Plantar fasciitis is known to sufferers as a “stone bruise” like feeling under the heel and in the arch of the foot. The plantar fascia in the arch provides support to the arch of the foot. It is thick connective tissue that also acts like a spring during gait to assist in conserving energy. When it is overstretched the plantar fascia can become inflamed at its attachment to the heel bone.
The painful inflammation of the plantar fascia is most felt in the mornings with the first few steps of the day.
Predisposing factors for developing plantar fasciitis include:
- Improper footwear especially thongs
- Walking on soft or uneven surfaces e.g. beach
- Being overweight
- Weakness in the intrinsic muscles of the foot
- Poor forefoot flexibility
- Tight and weak calf muscles
Taping can be very effective and often gives immediate relief of the symptoms of plantar fasciitis. However, the fascia is not endowed with blood vessels and hence the healing of this connective tissue is quite slow.
Guided Physio treatment including correction of footwear and modified activities is important or the fascia may become chronically damaged.