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Plantar Fasciopathy???

Heel Pain!

This used to be known as Plantar fasciitis and is a debilitating and painful condition of the Plantar Fascia of the foot (both the heel and arch) . The name fasciitis has been dropped as we now know that inflammation is not a large component (if at all) of the problem, rather its degeneration and loss of strength. The plantar fascia is a flexible ligament that ideally works by allowing the foot to absorb and distribute the impact from walking, running and jumping.

Symptoms include

- Pain in the heel or arch of the foot, particularly when getting out of bed first thing in the morning.

- Pain worsening when in barefoot or flat shoes

- Heel/arch pain after long periods of standing or after getting up from a seated position.

Who does it affect??

- Approximately 5-10% of the population will experience plantar fasciopathy at one point or another

- People with a BMI (Body Mass Index) over 30

- Diabetics are more likely to suffer from plantar fasciopathy

- Middle aged people

- Pregnant women

- Young people who are effected are normally on their feet a lot; runners/dancers

How and why did i get this?

- Overload (too much too soon or too fast). Usually, patients present to us after recently taking up new activities such running or increased jumping.

- People who are required to be on their feet a for extended periods of time.

- Excess weight, people with a BMI over 30 are at greater risk

- Poor footwear or barefoot walking on hard surfaces. Shoes with no support like thongs affect our walking pattern and put increased stress in the plantar fascia.

- Overload! Did we mention this?

What can i do about it?

-Treatment has usually involved things such as stretches, taping, joint mobilisations and sometimes orthotic use to settle the pain to allow the exercises to be performed regularly.

- Recently High load strength training has been used with some good results.

- This includes calf raises with a towel under the toes to increase the stress on the plantar fascia. Initially performed in an isometric fashion to stimulate a process called mechanotransduction to improve function and strength of the plantar fascia.

- Plantar fasciopathy treatment is not a quick fix, and it requires time and patience. Usually clients will start to see results after 6 weeks of treatment and exercise.

Contact us at Willsmere Health for more information or to make a booking to see one of our Osteopaths here


Rathleff MS, Mølgaard CM, Fredberg U, et al. High-load strength training improves outcome in patients with plantar fasciitis: A randomized controlled trial with 12-month follow-up. Scand J Med Sci Spor 2014:n/a-n/a doi: 10.1111/sms.12313[published Online First: Epub Date]|.

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