Plantar fasciitis is a painful condition that typically effects the heel and its soft tissues.
When the heel is placed under intense or repetitive stress the plantar fascia, a band of tissue running underneath the sole of the foot, thickens over time causing pain and discomfort. As an enduring injury, it is common in those who exercise rigorously, with little to no rest periods, and in people who increase the intensity of their exercise suddenly. However, biomechanical issues can also be at fault, and although pronation is a normal and desirable part of walking, research indicates those who pronate beyond their fascia’s limits are prone to the injury.
Uncomfortable and limiting, whatever the cause of your plantar fasciitis, don’t let this injury hinder your sporting performance for long. Early diagnosis is vital, Podfo can recommend a clinician near you, but in the meantime, start your recovery by following Podfo’s recommended recovery tips:
Stretching can help soothe and prevent further pain caused by plantar fasciitis by keeping calve muscles supple. A recommended stretch method is standing against a wall with one leg positioned a step behind you. Gently push your heel to the floor until you feel a stretch in your lower leg. Hold each stretch for 15 to 30 seconds and release, repeat this three times twice per day to ensure the muscle is warmed up and becomes relaxed and malleable.
Improving the strength of the foot arch muscles can help support the foot arch structures. After your calf stretch, sit and use your toes to pick up marbles or a spiky ball for around two minutes.
Pain relief medication
Anti-inflammatory drugs can be effective for reducing swelling and relieving the pain caused by plantar fasciitis. However, this is not a long-term solution and if in any doubt regarding medication, please consult a doctor or your pharmacist.
Athletic tape/other sports support
Taping is a common way to help relieve the symptoms of plantar fasciitis. The tape provides support and reduces the stress placed on the plantar fascia ligament.
A shoe with a small heel and midfoot support with cushioning can give relief and aid recovery. A good running shoe would typically have the right qualities.
Ice can help reduce the pain and swelling caused by plantar fasciitis. Applying ice to the heel can help the tissue repair at a quicker rate. Remember to RICE – Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevate your injury for quicker healing results.
Night splints can be effective in reducing the pain caused by plantar fasciitis, as they are designed to stretch the calf and plantar fascia while you sleep. Although many report relief initially in the morning, a negative is that the splints are impractical during day- to-day activity.
Rest from sports
Rest is imperative in overcoming a sports injury like plantar fasciitis. Overuse only makes it worse, so it is important to take time off your feet, in order to get back on them!
Podfo can be used to help aid recovery through improving the function of the injured or vulnerable tissues and in assisting the reduction of tissue strain. As Podfo insoles are bespoke and tailored to an individual’s feet and specific biometric needs, Podfo is able to target the areas of your feet that need the most support.
During your consultation with your Podfo supplier, who will be a medically qualified physiotherapist or podiatrist, the cause of your plantar fasciitis will be assessed and this will be addressed as part of your recommended treatment plan. Unlike the methods listed above, Podfo can not only help relieve the pain plantar fasciitis may be causing you but can address the underlying cause of the issue.
For example, if your lower limb and foot biomechanics make you susceptible to strain in the plantar fascia when exercising, your Podfo will be designed to reduce the stress. Your individual prescription will help prevent the risk of injuries such as plantar fasciitis in the future by supporting the heel and providing comfort where needed.
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