The plantar fascia is a tight band on the sole of the foot that passes between the heel and the underside of the toe joints to help to maintain the arches of the foot. If the foot posture tends to flatten the arch on the inner side of the foot, over time the plantar fascia will become overstretched and pain can be felt on the inner side of the heel and sole of the foot. The patient will complain of pain and stiffness on first putting their foot to the floor in the morning and on rising from sitting. The pain tends to ease after a few steps but can also return after prolonged walking. There will be marked tenderness on pressing into the heel on the inner side of the sole.
Physiotherapy can help by applying a specific massage technique called frictions to the tender site with stretches and exercises to improve foot posture and to take the strain off the inner arch of the foot. Orthotics may also be prescribed to support the arch and to adapt foot posture. Advice will be given on other techniques and stretches that can be used at home to help to aid recovery.
Ice and electrotherapy may be used to reduce pain and also to stimulate the muscles within the foot to work more effectively; to support the arch and to take the strain off the plantar fascia.
An injection of anti-inflammatory steroid may be given if the symptoms persist and it is not unusual for more than one to be needed.
Switch to our mobile site