Plantar fasciitis also known as ‘Policeman’s Heel’ is one of the most common causes of heel pain.
What symptoms can plantar fasciitis cause?
- Sharp pain or a dull ache and stiffness in your heel or the base of your foot.
- It can appear in either one or both feet
- It can cause pain in your foot after your foot has been still for a while i.e. sleeping
- The pain may be worse in the morning when you take your first few steps out of bed
- You may incur pain when raising your toes
The plantar fascia supports the arch of your foot and acts as a shock absorber when we are walking, running or spending time on our feet. Runners are more likely to have this injury due to the repetitive motion of running which puts more stress onto your feet.
When running it is important to wear supportive shoes to help give your arches as much support as possible as it will help to prevent any extra stress onto your feet and to make it more comfortable for you.
If you are on your feet all day at work, it might be helpful to wear a different type of shoes if possible as over use of the same shoes can lead to inflammation of your plantar fascia and cause you pain. Wearing different shoes will help the joints of your foot as well as gently stretching the muscles of your foot which in turn helps your foot to support itself. Varying your shoes can have an effect on the biomechanics of your lower limbs and posture therefore making you more comfortable. If you commute to work wearing a comfortable supportive shoe like trainers will be helpful and change from wearing flat to heeled shoes but avoid wearing stiletto heels or very flat non-supportive shoes like flip flops as this will aggravate your plantar fascia.
If your feet are under or over pronated this can add extra stress on your foot and alter the plantar fascia tension and lead to inflammation and pain.
Your biomechanics of your feet are very important when considering your plantar fascia; your plantar fascia attaches to your Achilles tendon and calf, so tension can lead further up your leg from the base of your foot.
Depending whether you have flat feet or high arches this can affect your mechanics of your feet and how stress and tension is distributed around your foot. If your foot is flat this will stretch the plantar fascia, and this can become inflamed and over stretched and this is when pain can occur.
Plantar fasciitis can be created from stress over time from our feet themselves or depending how we stand with our posture. As osteopaths during treatment we will look locally at your pain source of your feet or we may look at your hips, knees, spine to enable your recovery and help prevent reoccurrences in the future.