Plantar fasciitis describes inflammation of the thick band of connective tissue (fascia) between the heel and bases of toes. The plantar fascia acts as a windlass that stretches as you foot plant and recoils during lift off to help propel you forward.
Repetitive trauma or a sudden new load can overload the plantar fascia, cause the tissue trauma and subsequent inflammation:
- Change in shoes – winter boots to summer slops, full sole to minimalist running shoes.
- Change in surface – sea sand.
- Sudden increase in high impact activity – step classes or running.
- Poor biomechanics in surrounding joints – stiff ankle or injury in the opposite leg.
- Sudden increase in body weight
Signs and symptoms
Possible signs and symptoms may include:
- Pain in the inside of arch, along the foot and on the heel.
- Pain worst in the morning with first few steps or walking after prolonged sitting, eases with movement.
- Pain with and after high impact activities - jumping or running.
- Onset can be gradual starting with mild pain.
Other common foot injuries
Achilles Tendon pain - The Achilles tendon connects the 2 large calf muscles to the heel. Various injuries occur within or around the tendon (for example tenosynovitis, tendonopathy in 3 different stages, intra-tendon tears, insertion inflammation and bursitis). The injury depends on both the loading and general health factors such as blood pressure, cholesterol, medications (for example roacutan and quinilone anti-biotics), oestrogen drop in perimenopausal women. Severes Disease in immature skeleton occurs at the growth plate where the Achilles attaches.
Obtaining an accurate diagnosis of the injury in an Achilles is imperative for the correct treatment and management plan.
Stress fractures - long term overload or doing too much too soon can result in bone stress and ultimately stress fractures. In runners and walkers theses are commonly seen in the forefoot (metatarsal shaft).
Nerve injury or irritation causing pins and needles and pain
Referred pain from the lower back
Do I see a podiatrist or physio for foot pain?
At Carmen Andrews Physiotherapy we work closely with podiatrists and refer or consult as necessary.
Because defective biomechanics around the hip, knee or ankle can lead to foot pain, and vice verse, a physio assessment together with orthotics from a podiatrist is most beneficial.