As Tiger Woods struggles to get back onto the Championship circuit it has been revealed he is suffering from Plantar Fasciitis. Plantar fascia pain affects people from all walks of life and in the clinic we commonly see plantar fascia pain in runners, footballers, nurses, tradespeople and many more.
Injury Review – Tiger Woods suffering from Plantar Fasciitis.
Plantar Fasciitis or Plantar fascia pain can be agonising which is why offloading, tape, ice and physiotherapy treatment come in handy. Tiger has opted to go down the conservative or physical therapy management pathway for plantar fascia pain
What is Plantar Fasciitis?
The Plantar Fascia is a thick band of connective tissue beginning at the base of the heel bone and extending along the bottom of the foot towards the toes forming the arch of the foot. The Plantar Fascia has two main functions:
- It supports the arch of the foot by acting as a natural Stabiliser and passive shock absorber when the foot bears weight.
- It plays a very important role in the normal mechanical function of the foot during our walking cycle, running, jumping etc. by allowing us to push off.
What causes Plantar Fasciitis Pain?
The number one cause of Plantar Fascia is overload or overtraining. Another cause is exposure to unaccustomed training or exercise load e.g. beginning a new exercise/running program too quickly. Low arch or flat feet can contribute, as this causes over-pronation of the foot and more force/pressure goes through the Plantar Fascia. Wearing unsupportive footwear and weight gain can also contribute.
Symptoms of Plantar Fasciitis
You will generally first notice Plantar Fascia pain underneath your heel but this can extend down to the middle of the foot and/or to the inside or outside of the heel. It can feel like a sharp stabbing type of pain that is often most intense with the first few steps in the day or after sitting/resting for a while. You may also experience pain after standing for long periods, and you may also get some mild swelling in the heel.
How do we treat Plantar Fasciitis?
The good news is that Plantar Fascia pain responds very well to conservative management in but a few cases. Invasive measures like injections and surgery are rarely needed.
The most important step initially is to offload the foot. This includes rest from exercise or aggravating activities, taping, soft tissue release, gentle stretching and ensuring appropriate supportive footwear is worn – occasionally a podiatrist may recommend orthotics or inserts for your shoe to support your foot.
Because mornings are often the most painful, we commonly ask patients to do a gradual stretching routine in the morning to slowly get the foot used to weight bearing again after 6-8 hours of complete rest. Following this initial phase, we can begin to re-load the foot with a physiotherapy monitored strengthening program for the calf muscles and small muscles of the foot.
How can Symmetry Physiotherapy help?
When it comes to managing Plantar Fasciitis, Tiger Woods is not alone and there are plenty of people from all walks of life who suffer from this condition. Timely diagnosis and treatment can make the difference between a quick resolution and long-term pain, so if you think you may be suffering from Plantar Fascia pain, it’s worth getting it looked at as soon as possible by a qualified professional such as a Physiotherapist or Podiatrist.
At Symmetry Physiotherapy we understand how frustrating and debilitating Plantar Fasciitis can be and we have years of experience in helping people manage their symptoms. From full physical assessments to tailored exercise programmes, our experts can develop the perfect plan for you.
If that sounds like something you’re interested in, why not get in touch today and make an appointment with one of our fantastic physiotherapists? We’ll assess your foot to create an individualised treatment plan that’s right for you so that you can get back on top form again as soon as possible.