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How to treat Plantar Fasciitis?

September 17, 2021

What is Plantar fasciitis (PF)?

Plantar fasciitis is the most common cause of chronic heel pain in adults affecting all ages. Did you know that the recovery time for PF without treatment cab be between 6 and 18 months? However, with conservative treatment, such as what we provide here at The Art Of Healing, 97% of people with PF can expect to recover fully within 6 months.

Plantar fasciitis can be an acute or chronic inflammation of the plantar facia (a thick band of tissue on the bottom of the foot), which runs from the heels to the toes and helps support the arch of the foot. It can cause pain in the heal, alongside pain in the middle and side of the foot. This pain in usually worse in the morning and can be aggregated by sitting for long periods or spending a long period of time on your feet and may be relieved a little through exercise. 

Plantar fasciitis

Walking as a first step is a good place to start, although modification of activities should be advised, while those that involve repetitive impact, such as running (even on a treadmill), should be avoided during the treatment phase. To keep fit and maintain a good level of cardiovascular fitness, patients can perform non-weight-bearing activities such as cycling, swimming, as long as it doesn’t load the bottom of the foot too heavily.

A gradual return to more impactive activity such as running, after the patient is asymptomatic for 4–6 weeks and no longer has localised tenderness over the bottom of the foot

One of the common characteristics of PF is pain in the morning, this is in part due to the lack of movements during the night. This inactivity means that the plantar fascia tightens during the night and then is easily overstretched in the morning as we get out of bed and move around and causes pain. Similarly, because of the lack of movement as we sleep, swelling and inflammatory proteins called cytokines can build up and cause further soreness in the morning

How can we help?

Plantar fasciitis can be caused by a number of factors, one of the most common is through tension and tightness within the gastrocnemius at the back of the calves, alongside biomechanical changes in the ankle and foot, such as a drooped arch or flat feet.

Here at the Art Of Healing we have extensive training to deal with these problems through releasing of tension within these muscles and provide ,manipulation and mobilisation techniques to help to restore biomechanical support to the foot. Our team can then provide targeted exercises to strengthen and decompress these tissues leading to better pain and function outcomes.

The word Fasciitis means fascia inflammation Fasci-itis. However, current literature suggests that plantar fasciitis is more correctly termed fasciosis because of the chronicity of the disease and the evidence of degeneration rather than inflammation. At the Art Of Healing we have access to a Shockwave machine, which research suggests can help relive chronic symptoms of PF by breaking down the degenerative tissues and thus heling to promote synthesis of new and healthy Plantar fascia tissue.

"Does ice help plantar fasciitis?"

YES! Ice can help with your symptoms of plantar fasciitis. Research suggests that cold being applied to the area for 20 min prior bedtime was the most effective treatment for reduced symptomology caused by plantar fascia. Reducing inflammation by using ice has also been shown in research to help reduce the thickness of the plantar fascia and alleviate some pain and cold ibuprofen gel was found to be significantly better at reducing plantar fascia symptoms than cold alone.

How does this work? Ice reduces the blood flow to the affected area by shrinking blood vessels beneath the skin. As a result, this decreases the swelling around the plantar fascia, along with reducing the amount of the inflammatory proteins, called cytokines, that can increase inflammation. Icing the foot also has the added benefit of numbing the nerve endings just below the skin, lessening pain.

Plantar Fasciitis ice treatment

However, Ice alone will not solve the problem. Recovery time for Plantar Fasciitis without treatment can be between 6 and 18 months? However, with conservative treatment, such as what we provide here at The Art Of Healing, 97% of people with PF can expect to recover fully within 6 months.

At The Art Of Healing, we create bespoke approach to  treating Plantar Fasciitis using a mixture of osteopathy, manual therapy, dry needling, shockwave therapy and the latest in orthopaedic and medical research for rehabilitation and techniques has helped hundreds of patients at our clinic suffering with Plantar Fasciitis.

Book a treatment. We offer guaranteed same day hands on treatment with our expert team to give you relief from your symptoms and develop plans for future progression.

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