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Plantar fasciitis – I can’t run anymore, what can I do to help?

Jan 18, 2019

Common Running Injuries – Plantar fasciitis

So here is blog number two of our running series, we have already covered ITBS (iliotibial band syndrome).

We see a lot of patients suffering from plantar fasciitis in our physiotherapy clinics which are based in Havant and Rowlands Castle in Hampshire. Today we will share with you some self help exercises for plantar fasciitis (heel/foot pain).

Here is a testimonial from one of our clients who had plantar fasciitis:

“I completed my first Ironman 70.3 with the help of Natalie. Putting up with symptoms of plantarfasciitis for months before letting it get so bad that I couldn’t walk without limping or run without experiencing constant pain. In July I finally went to see Natalie something I should have done back in December. I actually didn’t expect to run the 13.1 miles yesterday pain free but I did and also pain free after. I really can’t thank Natalie enough.” Mrs. A

What is plantar fasciitis?

Plantar fasciitis is the third most common injury in runners and approximately 10% of people have plantar fasciitis at some point during their lifetime. It is a pain in the heel and underside of the foot.

The plantarfascia itself is a tough band of fibrous tissue that extends from the heel bone to the toes. It supports the arch of your foot and takes a lot of load during walking and running. Plantar fasciitis is an overuse injury to the fascial sheath on the sole of the foot.

Cause of Plantar fasciitis

  • When there is an increased load placed on the plantar fascia by running, walking, playing tennis or by a patient’s biomechanics.
  • Tight calf muscles
  • Poor footwear
  • Poor glutes control
  • Calf muscle weakness

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What are the symptoms of Plantar fasciitis?

 People with plantar fasciitis may have a number of symptoms including:

  • Pain on the bottom of your foot, sometimes going into your heel.
  • Usually the first few steps in the morning are painful but this gradually settles as you continue walking.
  • Walking barefoot, on your toes, going up stairs and running all tend to aggravate the pain. 

Treatment

There are lots of different treatment options from taping, to sports massage to release off tight calf muscles and plantarfascia, ankle joint mobilisation, strengthening exercises, stretches, acupuncture and ultrasound.

Exercises for Plantar fasciitis

Please be aware of your body and take advice from your GP before exercising or send an email to Physio-logical for advice and guidance.

Heel Raise 

(Ref Michael Rathleff)
  • Every second day for three months.
  • Every heel-rise consisted of a three second concentric phase (going up) and a three second eccentric phase (coming down) with a 2 second isometric phase (pause at the top of the exercise).
  • The high-load strength training was slowly progressed throughout the trial as previously reported by Kongsgaard et al.
  • 12 repetition maximum (RM) for three sets.
  • After two weeks, they increased the load by using a backpack with books and reduced the number of repetitions to 10RM, simultaneously increasing the number of sets to four.
  • After four weeks, they were instructed to perform 8RM and perform five sets.
  • They were instructed to keep adding books to the backpack as they became stronger.
  • A key clinical point is that the calf-raises need to be done slowly.

 

Plantar Fascia Stretch

  • Hold the stretch for 10 seconds, repeat 10 times, at least 3 x day
  • Do this exercise before taking your first step in the morning, and before standing after prolonged sitting

 

Frozen Can Roll

  • Roll your bare injured foot back and forth from your heel to your mid-arch over a frozen can or bottle.
  • Repeat for 3-5 minutes. This exercise is particular helpful if done first thing in the morning or at the end of the day.

If any of the above sounds familiar or if you suffer from plantar fasciitis then we can help you. Our team regularly see patients with a wide range of foot and heel pain symptoms.

Call our clinic today on 07835 712306 or book online at https://physio-logical.net/contact-us/ to find out more about how our team of experienced Physiotherapists and soft tissue therapists can help.

Stay tuned for next week’s blog where we will be covering general strengthening exercises for runners.

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