Box Hill Physiotherapy - Quality, Personalised Physiotherapy Services

Remedial Massage : Plantar Fasciitis

Plantar fasciitis is a painful inflammatory process of the connective tissue on the sole (bottom surface) of the foot.  It is often caused by biomechanical dysfunction in the foot and overpronation appears to be a major cause.  The increased tensile force on the plantar fascia leads to fiber breakdown with resultant stress on the calcaneal attachment site. It is a very common condition for people with flat or high arched feet and can be difficult to treat if not looked after properly.

The plantar fascia plays a crucial role in maintaining stability and contributing to shock absorption in the foot.  It is a spring mechanism, essentially a tension cable between the heel and toes.  Increased tension develops at the push-off  phase of running or walking and from normal weight bearing.  Due to its connection with the heel, excessive forces can cause a heel spur to develop.

The plantar fascia has fascial connections with the Gastrocnemius and Soleus muscles.  Keeping these muscles, the plantar fascia, and the corresponding connective tissue in a shortened position for long periods commonly aggravates the symptoms.

Traditional approaches:

Rest from offending activities, orthotics for faulty biomechanical patterns, corticosteroid injections, tension night splint, tape to maintain arch, ice applications, lose weight if overweight, and soft tissue therapy. 

Treatment techniques for PF:

Longitudinal stripping to PF and flexor muscles on the bottom surface of the foot.  Transverse friction to PF near calcaneus.  Compression broadening and deep stripping to calf muscles.  Deep stripping plus stripping with active engagement lengthening to deep posterior compartment muscles.  Stretching should be incorporated throughout the treatment process as tolerated by the client.
 

 

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