Plantar fasciitis…doomer!

January 12, 2014

Julie asked The Guru for the following Physiotherapy Advice:

I have pain in my left heel, comes and goes in intensity, usually bad first thing. Can be really painful. I was able to run without pain but suffered afterwards but now can’t even do that. Is rest the only answer long term?

January 12, 2014

Hi Julie

You’ve got Plantar fasciitis.

There is a band of tissue that runs from your heel to your big toe (and others) in the sole of your foot. Its very important in something called the Windlass mechanism, where energy is stored when your foot is on the ground and returned when your toe is about to leave it, helping to propel you forwards.

If this is over stretched – because you loose control of how your foot, knee and hip rolls in, then it becomes painful. Very painful, especially first thing as you generally sleep pointing your toes, and shortening the PF. Soon as you weight bear your foot flatters and over stretches the PF, as you can’t control this excessive motion – be it at your foot, knee or hip.

Running will increase the stretch, but in doing so knocks out local pain receptors. It’s only later, when you’ve stopped (and it’s well stretched) that you realise that its more painful.

Rest won’t help, as it will not change the cause. Stretching will make you feel better, but won’t help long term. Shoes are super important, length in calf muscles too (but roll/release them, don’t stretch them). Tape can be pretty useful too as long as it’s put on by the right person for the right thing.

Go and see someone [physio sport] who can – check out their experience with runners and if they plug in a machine to use electrotherapy, run….regardless of the pain!

Guru Responded

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