Plantar Fasciitis


What is it?

Plantar fasciitis is a condition where there is inflammation of the plantar fascia. Plantar fascia is a piece of strong, thick tissue that runs along the bottom of the foot connecting the heel bone to the toes, creating the arch of the foot. Plantar fasciitis is one of the most common heel pain. It can affect anyone from active and athletes to sedentary people.

What are the symptoms of plantar fasciitis?

The main symptom is pain under the heel which can be a dull ache or a sharp pain. The sole of the foot could be aching as well with possible swelling around the foot. Plantar fasciitis is typically most painful first thing in the morning when taking your first few steps. It can also be worse after prolonged standing or sitting as well as intense activities (i.e long distance walking, high intensity interval training and running).

What causes plantar fasciitis?

There are two main risk factors that cause plantar fasciitis:

1 . Intrinsics risk factors:

Flat feet

High arched feet

Shortened achilles tendon


Overpronated feet

Weak intrinsic muscles of foot

Weak ankle plantar flexor muscles

Limited ankle dorsiflexion

There are two main risk factors that cause plantar fasciitis:

2. Extrinsic risk factors:

Poor biomechanics or alignment

General de-conditioning

Hard surface walking or standing

Prolonged walking on barefoot

Prolonged standing

Inadequate stretching

Poor footwear

What can you do?

There are a few things you could try at home to help ease the pain of plantar fasciitis. These include stretches for the foot and ankle muscles; self massaging under foot using a tennis ball or rolling pin; using an over the counter orthotics; ice packs; take non-steroidal anti-inflammatories; relative rest and activity modification.

When to seek help?

We recommend to seek help from a physiotherapist when home management is not sufficient or symptoms are getting worst over time. There are a few signs to show that your symptoms are getting worse. These could be that your pain is constant, pain is there after prolonged sitting then standing up, pain intensity in increasing and upon waking each morning the first few steps are painful.

If you are not sure if it is a plantar fasciitis we recommend to either consult a general practitioner or one of our physiotherapists at Excel Physiotherapy and Wellness.


How can we help?

Our physiotherapists at Excel Physio could provide you with a tailored and comprehensive corrective foot program to address this condition, provide manual therapy treatments, apply taping for support, and in some cases recommend a night splint. However if your symptoms do not resolve after 12-16 weeks and it is getting worse, we may suggest imaging and a referral to a foot and ankle specialist.