2 Heel Conditions: Plantar Fasciitis, Achilles Tendinothapy
Did you know that 80% of all heel pain stems from two common causes of heel conditions? Plantar Fasciitis and Achilles Tendinothapy are hugely common problems that affect a significant number of Australians. These can cause significant pain to the heel area and make it difficult for patients to walk properly. If left untreated, the problems can become worse and result in further pain and damage and even disability.
Plantar Fasciitis is a common foot condition that results from overuse of the plantar fascia during walking and sports. The plantar fascia ligament is a muscle connecting the heels to the toes. It is important in its role as a stabilising agent used during walking or other exercise. The muscle can easily become sore or swollen with overuse.
There are several physio techniques that can be used to alleviate pain and reduce swelling.
People with plantar fasciitis can benefit from the following stretches:
- By resting your feet you minimise pressure on the plantar fascia and allow the muscles to recover.
- Roll a cold water bottle backwards and forwards underneath the sole of your foot for twenty minutes per day. The coldness will shrink the muscles, enabling them to recover swiftly when they warm up again.
- Lose weight if necessary to reduce pressure on the feet when walking or engaging in other exercise.
- Wear shoes with solid soles, a high arch that supports the arch of your foot and a strong heel. You need good suspension when you walk and good quality shoes should be able to provide this. Wearing comfortable shoes with the aforementioned characteristics will sustain support during exercise and keep your feet, heel and ankle balanced.
- In the morning, pull your toes towards you to stretch the plantar fascia and allow comfortable walking temporarily.
- Stretch your calves twice per day by leaning on a wall, placing one foot forward and arching the posterior leg backwards.
Insertional Achilles Tendinopathy is a condition affecting the Achilles tendon. Patients with the condition will experience their Achilles tendon pushing into the back of the heel bone (heel spur).
If you suffer from this condition, you will experience pain in the back of your heel. This pain is especially noticeable in the mornings and in the evenings. Pain may ease after massaging the afflicted area. Pain will often be much more intense during high impact activities like running or jumping.
Achilles Tendionthapy can be caused by repetitive high impact exercise that causes overloading at the Achilles tendon. Tight calf muscles can cause inflammation of the Achilles tendon. If you roll too much on the front or back of your feet this can also cause this condition to manifest. When this happens, Achilles Tendionthapy is a common result.
- Avoid any high impact activity, like running or leg work-outs to rest the Achilles tendon.
- Non-weight bearing exercises like swimming can be used to increase fitness.
- Apply an ice pack for 20 minutes every night to reduce swelling inflammation around the affected area.
If you’re suffering from either one of these conditions, you should consult with a licensed physio. They will be available to take a look at the problem and suggest a strategy to solve the problem. They will probably recommend taping your foot, attaching a night splint or stretching exercises. With daily repetition of these solutions for some time, the problem will be solved.
If the problem is serious enough, anti inflammation drugs may be prescribed. Insoles, otherwise known as shoe inserts, can also be prescribed to adjust the position of the foot for a long period. This will eventually reduce swelling and pain.
Contact Therapy Services Physio today to schedule a quick consultation to analyse the condition of your foot. If we think something is the matter we are able to prescribe isometric and eccentric exercises to help alleviate your condition. We’re open to provide medical advice from 8:00AM to 4:30PM Monday to Friday. Please ring us today on (02) 8382 6935 to book your appointment with us at Therapy services Physio.