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Plantar fasciitisPrint version
Is inflammation strong band of tissue that stretches from your heel to the ball of your foot. It helps maintain the long arch of your foot.
yPlantar fasciitis is inflammation of the plantar fascia which stretches from your heel to the ball of your foot. It helps maintain the long arch of the foot. The fascia (like a ligament) may become inflamed by new activity, poor footwear (poor arch support) or weight gain.
Pain in the sole of foot, just in front of the heel, is the main symptom. The pain is often worse first thing in the morning or after a long day or stretching the sole (e.g. walking up stairs). Sometimes a tight Achilles Tendon may cause the fasciitis inflammation.
The diagnosis is made on clinical history and examination. Blood tests or x-rays are usually not required.
Letting the inflammation settle may take months!
- Rest your foot (gentle walking only to avoid stretching the sole)
- Avoid walking barefoot, wear shoes with good arch support, laces and a 2 - 3 cm heel
- Cushion the sole of the heel if required
- Pain killers such as Paracetamol / Ibuprofen tablets or cream help
- Local ICE therapy may help
- Heel pads work! (if they raise the heel 1cm and used correctly)
- Using pads on both sides (even the "normal" foot) will feel better
Some suggested exercises
- Gentle stretching of your Achilles tendon and plantar fascia
- Stand about 40 cm away from a wall and put both hands on the wall at shoulder height, feet slightly apart, with one foot in front of the other. Bend your front knee but keep your back knee straight and lean in towards the wall to stretch. You should feel your calf muscle tighten. Keep this position for several seconds, then relax. Do this about 10 times then switch to the other leg