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What is the plantar fascia?

The plantar fascia is thick connective tissue that supports the arch of the foot.

What is plantar fasciitis?

Plantar fasciitis is where the plantar fascia becomes damaged, inflamed and painful. The most common site of pain is the posterior portion of the fascia located at the plantar heel.

What are heel spurs?

Heel spurs are bony growths as a result of tight plantar fascia attaching to the plantar heel. Although they look painful there is no direct relationship to heel pain. Most commonly it is plantar fasciitis which is the cause of the pain.

What are the common symptoms of plantar fasciitis?

Onset of pain is usually gradual, appearing for no apparent reason and without history of trauma. Pain on weight bearing is sharp, usually worse first thing in the morning, gradually subsiding, then recurring after rest and at the end of the working day.

What are the causes of plantar fasciitis?

Common causes include excessive pronation (i.e. feet rolling in), high rigid arches, hyper mobility in the foot and ankle, calf muscle tightness, inadequate footwear for activity and environment (e.g. wearing Dunlop volleys for sport) and working on hard surfaces for extended periods (e.g. nurses & builders).

Treatment for plantar fasciitis

Involves a combination of:

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  • Rest
  • Ice
  • Massage
  • Stretching
  • Foot strengthening
  • Padding
  • Foot taping
  • Adequate footwear
  • Orthotic therapy