Five Quick Tips To Manage Plantar Fascia Pain

I’ve seen a large amount of new or returning runners present to clinic this year, and with this an increased injury risk can come. One of the more common issues can be plantar fascia pain (PFP) / plantar fasciitis. In this blog I’ll give you a couple of quick tips to help manage your pain. If you want to know a little bit more about the condition before this read this great blog beforehand!

  1. Strength Training

PFP often comes from an overload of tissue, an element of this can include insufficient muscle strength. Increasing the strength of basic muscles, in conjunction with other treatment methods, can help in your recovery. Basic exercises like this can include:

  • Calf raises
  • Bulgarian split squats
  • Bridges
  • Single leg plyometrics (Jumping/hopping drills)
  1. Stretching

A Lot of resources on PFP will recommend stretching for treatments, and in this case they are correct! There is often a correlation between calf (Gastrocnemius) tightness and PFP. Studies showing completing 3×15 repetitions of calf stretching twice per day can improve gastrocnemius tightness and pain.

  1. Orthotics

A really well researched method of helping to decrease PFP is taping, specifically a low dye tape. This tape helps to decrease the inward rolling of the foot, helping to decrease load on the tissue itself. However when you’re considering the long healing duration, constantly taping your foot can be a little bit, well… annoying! Orthotics can often help to mimic this effect and in conjunction with other treatments can help to rehabilitate your foot pain.

  1. Footwear

This is often a heavily discussed and debated topic among clinicians, however it can be a really easy way to help manage your pain. That being said, there is no specific recommendation on which shoes to wear. Essentially the best advice we have is that maximalist shoes (E.g. shoes that have more cushioning and greater thickness) can help with pain levels overall.

  1. Appropriate Loading

At its very core PFP is an overload of tissue, basically meaning if you push it too hard then its going to get sore! Make sure you take care to manage this effectively. Way to do this is to:

  • Count your steps in the day
  • Try and decrease your steps/take public transport where able
  • If you’re returning to running, start small!

All of these tips by themselves are not sufficient to manage this condition on their own. To effectively manage your plantar fascia pain, so make sure you give them all a go. This condition can sometimes be very frustrating so if you need any assistance, please reach out to any of our friendly Physiotherapists.

Ben Cunningham

About Ben Cunningham

Ben graduated with a Bachelor of Physiotherapy degree from Australian Catholic University in Brisbane. After a move down to NSW, he has now joined the Bend + Mend Team and works at both Martin Place and Barangaroo clinics. Ben has a particular special interest in treating lower back pain (with referred pain) and running lower limb injuries and always uses the most up to date scientific evidence to assist his patient in reach their full potential. He is intrigued with how the body works and enjoys observing people and their movement patterns to help identify the root cause of complex pain. In his personal time Ben enjoys going to the gym and long distance running. He is also loves heading to the beach and finding new experiences around Sydney!

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