As a sheet of fibrous tissues that run from your heels to your toes, your plantar fascia plays an important role in your daily life. When inflammation affects this area, it's known as plantar fasciitis. It can feel incredibly uncomfortable, especially when you try to walk or run. Because of this, you'll want to bring an end to the pain swiftly. Here are some ways that physiotherapy can help.
Addressing Your Gait
At your first appointment, your physiotherapist may assess your gait. This is the way that you walk. If they feel as though you're placing too much weight on certain areas of your feet, they may prescribe exercises that can address the issue. They may also offer you advice on how to alter your walk so that you don't place too much strain on your plantar fascia.
You may find that plantar fasciitis is worse in the morning when you wake up. This is because you don't use your muscles as much during the night and so they can feel stiff after hours of immobility. Your physiotherapist can recommend exercises that you can use before you get out of bed and start moving around. While this won't remove the pain altogether, it can make moving first thing in the morning feel easier.
While you may not give your footwear a second thought, it can have a huge impact on your feet. Soles that are too thin or worn can place too much strain on your plantar fascia. If you have a high arch, you may find that you're not getting enough support from your trainers when you exercise. By following your physiotherapist's advice on footwear, you'll get better support for your feet and reduce your chances of developing plantar fasciitis again in the future.
Your weight, how much time you spend on your feet and how much time you spend without shoes on can all increase your pain levels. During your appointment, your clinician will likely make recommendations on altering your lifestyle. Losing weight can have an especially positive impact and can benefit other aspects of your health too.
Finally, your physiotherapy team may give you advice on taping your feet, altering the way you exercise and stretching your foot muscles to provide your plantar fascia with better support. Make sure you always update them on your progress, so they can tailor your plan accordingly.