If you’re looking for ways to treat your plantar fasciitis and are tearing your hair out because you’ve tried everything, then this blog is written for you!
As a Podiatrist I see many people in tears because they’ve been unable to overcome the pain that comes from having plantar fasciitis for such a long time.
Many have been on a long journey in a bid to fix their pain by seeking opinion and treatment from a long list of health professionals such as their GPs, Podiatrists, Physiotherapists and even Chiropractors. They’ve tried drugs and have even bought expensive shoes, orthotics and other devices to try and fix their plantar fasciitis pain but to no avail. Why is this?
Plantar Fasciitis: How does the plantar fascia behave when it’s injured?
First and foremost, there is no one size fits all magic fix to plantar fasciitis and that’s why it’s hard to treat. However, if you can understand how the plantar fascia works you may be able to unlock the reason why you’ve been hitting roadblocks in your journey to fix your plantar fasciitis pain.
The plantar fascia is a structure that is built to withstand an enormous amount of load. The load of your body weight, the load exerted on it when you walk or run, jump or hop. It’s a small structure in the foot that does amazing things don’t you think? When it’s injured the capacity for you to withstand those loads is largely diminished.
I’ve written a recent blog that explains the mechanisms behind how the plantar fascia, similar to other tendon injuries, behaves when it’s injured. Click HERE if you would like to read it in depth. Also, you can watch this video which provides a simple visual for the relationship between load vs capacity in a tissue.
Plantar Fasciitis: What is missing in the way health professionals are treating plantar fasciitis?
Now that you know how the Plantar Fascia behaves when it’s injured, you may be asking yourself how do I figure out what is the right load and capacity for me to get rid of my plantar fasciitis?
The load vs capacity scenario is simple on the surface, but when you try to determine how much of an increase in load you can tolerate… It’s not that easy. For example: how do you quantify “too quick” of a change to your activity? How do you quantify how rapidly you can add running speed vs. mileage to your training? What about changes in footwear? Or changes in technique/biomechanics and changes in surface?
To complicate matters, it’s not only changes in load that you must think about, it’s also the capacity. How do you know what your capacity is? We must consider age, smoking habits, diabetes, medication, previous injury, genetics, diet and many other factors into the equation.
This is the challenge that most health professionals face when you present your pain at their clinic. Not only do they need to examine these variables between different people, they also need to ask what changes have occurred for that person (sleep, stress levels etc.).
Plantar Fasciitis: What do I do next?
A comprehensive plantar fasciitis treatment plan needs to be a tailored approach for your lifestyle. It’s not just about giving you a pair of shoes or orthotics, it’s not just a series of shockwave treatments or massages. You will need a Podiatrist to help you work out a workable rehabilitation program that looks at strengthening the injured plantar fascia so that it has the capacity to withstand the load that you demand from it to go for that run or walk that you long to do.
An example of a plantar fascia strengthening exercise can be seen here.
If you have any questions or would like to know how our team at The Footcare Clinic can help you work out a rehab program that’s right for you, you can contact us on this link.
You don’t even have to be a local to receive our services. We provide online consultations so can help you in any location anywhere in the world!! To book an online consultation just head to this link.