Therapeutic Massage
Registered Member of MTANS
The Massage Therapists' Association of Nova Scotia
Since 2000
2369 Agricola St. • Suite 202
Halifax, Nova Scotia • B3K 4B7
902 • 405 • 3710
jessica.marsh.hfx@gmail.com

5.3.07

Plantar Fasciitis

The 'plantar fascia' is a band of tough connective tissue that runs along the bottom of your foot, connecting your heel to your toes.  It stretches when you pull your toes up toward your shin.  It works like a shock-absorbing bowstring, supporting the arch of your foot. When microtearing and inflammation occur in this fascia, it is called 'Plantar Fasciitis'.

Causes:
Plantar fasciitis is caused by extra stress on the feet. This may be due to a few things: extra activity, poor training methods or surfaces, unsupportive or incorrect footwear, extra weight or underlying muscular or bimoechanical imbalance.  Recent literature suggests that it is less likely to be a pure inflammatory condition but rather attributed to the degeneration of plantar tissues.  Runners who overpronate (feet rolling in or flattening) are particularly at risk as the biomechanics of the foot pronating causes additional stretching of the plantar fascia.

Symptoms:
  • pain with weight bearing, on the bottom of the foot just in front of the heel.
  • pain along the inside of the foot toward the toes.
  • pain with the first 2-3 steps in the morning, or after sitting for long periods of time.
  • pain lessens after 30-45 minutes of activity, then worsens 2-3 hours with continued activity.
  • pain in one or both feet.
  • mild to severe pain, sometimes 'stabbing', sometimes 'burning'.
  • pain comes on slowly, no initial trauma or injury.


Treatment:
  • Rest until it is not painful. It can be very difficult to rest your feet, but by walking or running you are continually aggravating the injury. Rest as much as possible and stop any unnecessary activities which place stress on the fascia.
  • Put a plastic frozen water bottle on the floor and roll your foot (wear a sock) over it for 15 to 20 minutes four to five times a day.
  • Massage and gently stretch the calf muscles.
  • Wear supportive footwear around the house.