What is it?
This very common problem is an inflammation or tearing of the plantar fascia where it meets the calcaneum. Represented by heel pain, it is often felt as if it is a stone bruise under the heel. This is a form of enthesopathy (that is pathology where tendon meets bone)
Why do people get it?
It seems that over the years of assessing people with this type of heel pain there are a number of contributing factors that could lead to PF.
Possibly the most common factor is a problematic big toe. The big toe joint, if not moving properly, prevents the normal mechanics of the plantar fascia as it supports the arch under the foot whilst we step forwards. A sore big toe will result in a shift of weight from the inside of the foot to the outside of the foot which then in turn prevents normal plantar fasciae mechanics, resulting in injury.
Some other common factors I see with PF;
- pronating feet,
- weakness of flexor muscles of foot and toes,
- poor footwear,
- high BMI,
- walking on sand,
- sudden increase in load on feet,
- tight hamstrings and calf,
- neural tension in the sciatic nerve
Can it be fixed?
Over the years I have seen hundreds of PF cases. At MWE we have a refined protocol for treatment of PF which involves shockwave therapy (see link) and taping. The conjunction of these two things must be done in a certain way that the PF is relieved of tension for about 4-6 weeks. Usually with this special taping method, the PF feels much better immediately.
Other methods that can be used when treating the PF include;
- shoe revision
- stretches for nerves
- toe, knee and ankle biomechanics
- Strasburg socks
- PRP injection therapy