Carran, one of our Doctors of Chiropractic, is extremely active in her CrossFit gym. As she loves this exercise so much, she also needs to know how to reduce risk of injury and speed up rate of healing, including her own plantar fasciitis. Below, Carran offers some do’s and dont’s of plantar fasciitis.
Plantar fasciitis is a common injury that can affect everyone, especially runners and many athletes. Some people experience sharp pain at the base of their foot, some describe it as a tight stretching sensation under the whole of their foot, and others will say its a very specific pain in their heel…
One thing that prevents the plantar fascia from healing quickly is that we never really give our feet a rest.During the day, despite not always running, we are walking around for our day to day chores and activities and therefore the foot is always under some degree of stress.
The plantar fascia runs from the base of the toes and attaches at the inner base of the heel bone, it is made up of a thick ribbon like tissue, similar to that of a ligament.
Each time we take a step from heel to toe, our plantar fascia along with muscles of the foot and lower leg help to control tensile forces in the arch.
In cases of plantar fasciitis there is repetitive stretch on the tissue and causes irritation and inflammation usually at the attachment of the inner aspect of the base of the heel. However pain can be felt in many different areas such as the arch and centre of the heel.
Do’s and Dont’s:
1. Do stretch your calves – To prevent and treat cases of plantar fasciitis. The base of the achilles tendon attaches very close to the heel where the plantar fascia attaches, so a pull from a tight calf and achilles complex can indirectly have a negative effect on the plantar fasciitis. This exercise alone can do wonders for the recovery and avoiding future reoccurrences.
2. Do train properly – Training errors are a common reason for experiencing plantar fasciitis. Increasing your intensity of training or mileage or speed work more than your body is able to handle is one of the most common causes. Each person copes with increases differently, therefore seek guidance from a coach to review your goals and biomechanics.
3. Do get treated at first onset – Many people wait weeks or longer to get this injury reviewed thinking that “its going to get better on its own”. If you are experiencing foot pain that is not getting better after a couple of week it means it should get looked at and treated. The quicker you address it means that you will spend less time, money and energy on treatment long term.
4. Do address biomechanics – This could be from weak hip / lower leg muscles which may contribute to excessive inward rotation of the lower leg and foot which in turn stresses the fascia. Getting this reviewed by your chiropractor who is knowledgeable in this area may be invaluable to chronic plantar fasciitis that doesn’t respond to conservative treatment.
5. Rest – By resting for a short amount of time at the onset of symptoms, plus self massage, calf stretches and a trial of foot and calf muscle strengthening is all required to halt the progression. Ice can help and taping to unload the plantar fascia can also be of benefit and possibly getting over the counter inserts for your shoes may also help, however these should only be used short term (not forever!).
Remember early detection and management is key! If you have any questions about foot pain, please feel free to call us on 01273 206868 to chat to one of our chiropractors at Back 2 Balance.