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  • Mary Brooking

Injury spotlight: Plantar Fasciitis

Plantar fasciitis is inflammation and damage to the fascia or connective tissue that runs from the heel bone to the toes along the sole of the foot. The plantar fascia acts to protect and maintain the arch of the foot and absorb impact forces when the foot lands, whether walking, running or jumping. Early signs include pain on the inside of the heel, just where the arch of the foot starts, first thing in the morning or after rest but wearing off quickly. It can progress so that it occurs more frequently, takes longer to wear off or becomes continual. Causes vary but a common risk factor is tight calf muscles and reduced upwards ankle flexion. Don’t ignore the niggle: stop it progressing by: - No barefoot walking - Wear orthotic insoles, off the shelf is fine, when possible if they don’t cause pain - Warm your foot up after a period of rest before moving e.g. by writing alphabet in air with foot - Regular stretching, 3 times a day of calf muscles, with both straight and bent leg to target both sets of calf muscles - Foot and calf strengthening exercises - Sports Massage can help recovery by both working on the plantar fascia itself and also on the calf muscles to increase the range of motion in the soft tissue and reduce the stress on the injury. It also encourages healing of the fibres that make up the fascia. - Return to running or other aggravating activities gradually if pain doesn’t increase while running or go above a mild discomfort

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