Injury of the Week #1: Plantar Fasciitis

What is it?

It is pain experienced at the bottom of the foot when inflammation of the plantar fascia occurs.

When do you notice the pain?

Often the first few steps you take in the morning are very painful and with dorsi-flexing the foot (flexing foot up)

Where will it hurt?

In the longitudinal arch of your foot or anterior-medial aspect of your heel (calcaneus)

How does it happen?

It could be from overuse (running etc.), your footwear (not supportive for the type of arch you have in your foot) and/or a recent change in footwear, a change in terrain (running on grass, cement, track etc)., a sudden increase in volume of physical activity, leg length discrepancy (one leg longer than the other), poor running technique, tight calves (gastroc/soleus) and excessive pronation (common in flat feet)

How can I help it go away?

Orthotics, proper footwear, good foot hygiene (getting rid of excess callus build up) as well as therapeutic stretches & exercises (to come in the next blog post!).

Prehab: How Can I Prevent Getting Plantar Fasciitis?

In addition to seeing a Pedorthist to get custom orthotics and/or a proper footwear recommendation, there are some preventative exercises you can do to help prevent plantar fasciitis.

Towel Crunch: Find a hand towel and place it on a tile/hard floor. With your foot fully flat on the towel and keeping the heel stationary, try and grab the towel with your toes and bring the far edge of the towel towards you. This will work the intrinsic muscles of the foot. Repeat this towel crunch 10 times and perform 3 sets.

This is a challenging yet effective exercise to help establish the mind-foot connection! You should be able to have good control over your foot, toes and the intrinsic muscles of your foot. If you are poor at this exercise, keep practicing! There are many exercises where this came from and improving that mind-foot connection will help you prevent plantar fascia pain.

Book an Athletic Therapy Initial Assessment to help determine the root cause of your foot pain, and together we will get rid of it for good!

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