What Is It? It is disputed what Plantar fasciitis is in terms of whether it is inflammation in the fascia (connective tissue) of the foot or if it is actually calcification and degeneration of the fascia. As the fascia provides stability to the foot it is an extremely painful condition when this tissue becomes compromised.
Symptoms – Commonly a sharp stabbing pain will occur in the arch or heel of the foot when walking. It is generally worse first thing in the morning or after periods of sitting and may ease after a certain amount of movement in less severe cases however in severe cases pain will worsen with use.
Causes – In some cases the exact cause may not be clear and some would argue that it can be a biomechanical issue but it isn’t conclusive as to whether this is the only cause in cases where other factors are not established. It is a condition that occurs often in runners and other athletes and this does suggest that it isn’t simply a biomechanical issue. Commonly factors such as over training, wrong footwear, tight calf muscles, tightness in the Achilles tendon, poor foot strength and pronation are present in those with plantar fasciitis. In terms of treatment the cases with a suspected cause are a little easier to treat however this isn’t always the case.
Massage – Sports and soft tissue injury treatment can help greatly with plantar fasciitis and in the reduction of symptoms and in speeding recovery. It may be used to loosen any tightness in the muscles, to assist in breaking up adhesions in the plantar fascia itself and to improve range of motion in the foot and leg muscles. Taping has also proved successful in supporting and aiding recovery.