PLANTAR FASCIITIS - submitted by Bianca Coetzee, Physiotherapist
The plantar aponeurosis starts at the heel bone and consists of three different segments. The middle section, which lies more to the inside of the heel, stretches all the way to the toes and forms the longitudinal arch of the foot. The aponeurosis supports the longitudinal arch and provides shock absorption to the foot.
People with low arches, better known as flat feet, or high arches are more prone to developing plantar fasciitis. Flat feet place increased strain on the heel because of the lack of support in the longitudinal arch. High arches, on the other hand, don’t absorb shock very well and place a lot of pressure on the heel.
In older patients excessive walking in inappropriate, non-supportive shoes can be the main cause. Obesity and standing for long periods (especially on hard surfaces) can also aggravate the condition.
- Gradual onset of pain
- Pain on the inside of the heel
- Worse in the morning, improving with activity
- Worse after inactivity during the day
- Severe cases can have pain with weight bearing
- Tight plantar fascia
- Stretch of the foot produces pain
Generally a patients’ symptoms are clear enough to make an accurate diagnosis. Ultrasound imaging is thereafter the most accurate tool to diagnose plantar fasciitis. X-rays are sometimes performed to rule out a calcaneal spur.
- Avoid aggravating activities
- Ice after activity
- Anti-inflammatory drugs
- Stretching of the fascia
- Massage with a frozen bottle or a golf ball
- Strengthening exercises
- Gel heel pads
- Soft tissue therapy
- Cortisone injections combined with therapy
- Last resort: surgery
If you or a loved one have been struggling with plantar fasciitis for any period of time – don’t suffer any longer. Please contact the Edson Family Chiropractic Clinic at 780 723 1985 and book a physiotherapy appointment today.