What is Plantar fasciitis?

Plantar fasciitis is inflammation of the fascia underneath the foot. Fascia is found throughout the body enveloping and linking muscles with bones and organs. In the foot it is a very tough tissue which runs from the heel to the bones in the middle of the foot and acts as a shock absorber, whilst supporting the arch of the foot in locomotion.

Pain under the foot or base of the heel can be caused by plantar fasciitis and is usually worse on initial weight bearing in the mornings or after a period of rest ie. sitting at a desk at work for hours.

What causes it??

  • increased weight, as this put more stress through the arches of the foot, forcing the fascia to work harder.
  • increase in volume of running
  • inappropriate footwear or old running shoes
  • increased amount of walking and/or standing

How an osteopath would treat it

On diagnosis of plantar fasciitis an osteopath would then try to find the cause of the problem. This can be done by asking the patient questions followed by an assessment of the foot and ankle and any related joints and tissues.

Treatment may be focused on loosening up the joints of the foot and ankle and releasing any tension in the associated muscles ie. calf, thigh and buttock.

You may be advised to take anti-inflammatory medication ( NSAIDS), ice your foot, buy new running shoes, self massage your foot on a roller, kinesio taping may be used to relieve pressure on the painful tissue (see image) or you may be referred to a podiatrist who may prescribe orthotics.