Contributed by Laura Comtois - Fit For Life Physical Therapy
Plantar Fasciitis, one of the most common injuries for runners, is the inflammation of the plantar fascia, the thick tendon on the underside of the foot. This tendon attaches at the bottom of the heel bone (calcaneus) and runs to the base of the toes.
Pain from plantar fasciitis may begin in the arch of the foot and progress toward the heel. The inflammation is commonly at the inside of the heel bone where the fascia attaches to the bone.
What increases your risk of getting plantar fasciitis?
- Limited Mobility:
- Decreased great toe (the big one) extension – it’s ability to bend backwards, such as during push-off from the toes when running
- Decreased flexibility of both calf muscles (gastrocnemius and soleus)
- Decreased flexibility of hamstrings
- Too much mobility - Over pronation. Some pronation is normal, but too much can strain this plantar fascia
What can I do to prevent or treat the initial signs of plantar fasciitis?
- Calf stretches
- Hamstring stretches
- Foot or big toe stretches
- Support - For over-pronation, get properly fit for running shoes, or with an over the counter insole such as Superfeet
- Strengthen - Given good mobility, strengthening of lower extremity muscles helps reduce impact through your leg and foot
- This includes buttocks, hips, quadriceps, hamstrings and calf muscles
- Maintaining muscle strength, flexibility, & balance is key. Your Fit For Life Physical Therapists can help you with this strength, flexibility, & balance
These recommendations reflect some of the basics about this injury. As always, seek medical advice should you be experiencing painful symptoms.
Feel free to email us at: Info@FitForLifePhysicalTherapy.com or call 614-981-2065 with questions or comments.
Laura Comtois, PT, DPT
Physical Therapist, Fit For Life Physical Therapy