The plantar fascia is a broad flat ligament type structure that attaches from the base of your heel (calcaneus) and fans out to the ball of the foot. The plantar fascia helps to support the many joints within the midfoot and helps maintain the arch of the foot.
Plantar fasciitis is an inflammation and micro-tearing of the plantar fascia with pain most often under the heel. If the inflammation is long standing a bone spur may develop at the attachment point of the calcaneus.
Plantar fasciitis may occur as a result of poor biomechanics of the foot, particularly with flattening of the arch or pronation. Other factors may contribute including tightness of calf muscles, poor muscle strength of the small foot muscles, hip and knee muscles.
In addition poor footwear may restrict the normal movement of the foot and further irritate structures.
Physiotherapy management of plantar fasciitis initially involves reducing inflammation of the plantar fascia to reduce pain. This may involve trialling supportive taping techniques for your foot to improve biomechanics. Your physiotherapist can then provide individually
moulded and adjusted orthotic inserts for your footwear for continual support for your feet. In addition specific strengthening and stretching exercises are required to provide effective long term management.
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