WHAT IS PLANTAR FASCIITIS?

 Plantar fasciitis*

*plantar heel pain, plantar fascosis, plantar fasciopathy 

An often stubborn condition, plantar fasciitis can be a debilitating condition with frustrating responses to varying treatment techniques.

You may have tried one or a combination of the following things without success

Rest/Load modification

Ice

Stretching

Massage techniques

Taping

Heel Cups

Orthotics

Weight loss

Pain medication

Night splints

Shockwave therapy

Surgery

And more recently High Load Strength Training

Plantar fasciitis, plantar fasciosis, plantar fasciopathy or plantar heel pain? Call it what you want but it all means the same thing to the sufferer with that annoying at times excruciating pain under the heel.  

 

The plantar fascia is a thick band of fibrous tissue that runs from the heel bone to the bones in the forefoot. To keep things very simple the plantar fascia becomes sensitive to pressure and load (the underlying mechanisms are still not completely understood).

 

Often felt first thing in the morning or with walking and increased time on the feet plantar heel pain affects around 7% of the population with prevalence higher in runners. Symptoms can last from a few weeks to a few years in certain cases.

 

Treatment varies between practitioners but can consist of load modification, stretching, orthotics, taping, manual therapy and self-massage and more recently strengthening exercises. Despite differing treatment techniques many cases still fail to respond.

 

More recently Rathleff et al 2014 found high load strength training to have a better outcome in the foot function index which includes pain at 3 months compared with just stretching. So basically a quicker reduction in pain was found but similar long term effects.  And if you ask anyone with the condition they would welcome a quicker reduction in pain levels!