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Plantar fasciitis or plantar fascia heel pain is a condition causing pain in the heel of the foot. It is characterised by ‘first step pain’; pain that’s worse with first putting weight on the foot in the morning, and pain that’s worse when getting up after a long period of sitting. It’s an overuse injury and is common in those that stand for long periods of time or those that have recently increased their activity level. Plantar fasciitis normally starts gradually and the pain is normally located over the inner or medial aspect of the heel.
Many treatments can be helpful for plantar fasciitis. Ensuring the joints around the foot and ankle are moving correctly is one of the first steps the physiotherapist may take. A restriction in the movement of the ankle joint may persist after an old ankle sprain or injury. This can alter walking and running patterns so restoring this movement with manual therapy is crucial. Tight muscles in the calf can also contribute to the development of plantar fascia heel pain. This can be treated with trigger point dry needling or soft tissue release.
A night splint can also be used to prevent shortening of the calf muscles and reduce the first step pain that’s characteristic of this condition. Biomechanics of the lower limb is an important factor in the treatment of plantar fascia heel pain. This condition can often be associated with flattening of the arches or changes in biomechanics further up the kinetic chain. Here at our Dublin 4 clinic we can undertake Functional screening which can identify movement flaws and corrective exercises can be prescribed. If there are issues with foot biomechanics, Orthotics may be prescribed to correct alignment.
Plantar fasciitis is a painful condition but with a thorough physiotherapy approach pain can be reduced and function can be restored. Contact Ballsbridge Physiotherapy for more information.