Plantar fasciitis is a common cause of heel pain, which frustrates patients and practitioners alike because of its resistance to treatment. It has been associated with obesity, middle age, and biomechanical abnormalities in the foot, such as tight Achilles tendon, pes cavus (high instep or arches), and pes planus (flat feet).
It is considered to be most often the result of a degenerative process at the origin of the plantar fascia (the connective tissue at the arch of the foot) at the calcaneus (heel bone). However, neurogenic and other causes of subcalcaneal heel pain are frequently cited.
A combination of causes may be present but the true cause can sometimes remain obscure. Although it’s normally managed with conservative treatment, plantar fasciitis is frequently resistant to the wide variety of treatments commonly used, such as:
• Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs
• Corticosteroid injections
• Ice and heat
Physiotherapy Treatment Techniques
Nonsurgical treatment can be effective in approximately 90% of patients. Nonsurgical management for the treatment of the symptoms and discomfort associated with plantar fasciitis can be classified into 3 broad categories:
• Reducing pain and inflammation
• Reducing tissue stress to a tolerable level
• Restoring muscle strength and flexibility of involved tissues
Techniques may include:
• Dry Needling/Acupuncture
• Taping techniques
• Electrotherapy modalities
• Stretching of the plantar fascia and calf
• Soft tissue therapy to the plantar fascia along with the calf/hamstring and gluteals
• Retraining exercises for maintenance of the arches of the feet
• Assessment for orthotics and prescription thereof of required
• Gait retraining
• Strengthening of the intrinsic foot muscles so as to improve dynamic support of the longitudinal arch
Plantar fasciitis is one of the most common foot pain conditions and often goes misdiagnosed. If you happen to see this condition with any of your patients, please think of referring to us so that we can assist you in getting the best results possible for your patients.
If you’re suffering from plantar fasciitis and want to make an appointment with one of the physiotherapists at CBD Physio, call us on 02 9223 3122. Our physiotherapists are well-trained and always ready to find the best solution for your condition or injury.
By Ashton Lucas
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