What is it?
Plantar fasciitis is the inflammation of the plantar fascia, a ligament like band, which supports the arch of your foot and acts as a shock absorber in your foot. Pain is felt just forward (about 4cm) of the heel and is usually worse in the morning. (Icing can help alleviate some of the pain- (see October 2013, This Month’s Focus- Acute soft tissue injuries for details on how to do this.)
It is twice as common in women than in men, affecting 1 in 10 and it is more usual for it to affect those between the age of 40 and 60. Unfortunately it can take up to a year to get better. During this time avoid running and standing for long durations.(NB: Occasionally the pain can be misdiagnosed and Policeman’s heel (an inflamed bursa) is the cause of the pain.)
How can I prevent it?
Wear shoes with heel cushioning and arch support- Don’t wear worn out shoes.
Avoid exercising on hard surfaces.
Maintain a healthy weight.
Avoid suddenly increasing running distance or speed.
Stretch your achilies tendon and loosen fascia around your heel by stretching your calves (see January 2014, This Month’s Focus- Tight Calves for Gastrocnemius and soleus stretches).
How can Jirou help?
Massage and other soft tissue treatments, including trigger point release of the calves can help in the recovery from plantar fasciitis. They can also be used to help prevent plantar fasciitis from occurring/ reoccurring.
I can also provide you with a series of additional stretches which will help both in recovery and also in the prevention of plantar fasciitis.