Pain experienced in the arch of the foot or underneath the heel is likely due to a strip of connective tissue known as the plantar fascia. This tissue attaches at the base of the heel and runs along the arch all the way up to the big toe, providing support to the arch and acting as a shock absorber during walking and running. With repeated tension and stress, it can undergo microtearing and become irritated and inflamed, resulting in plantar fasciitis. A hallmark sign of plantar fasciitis is stabbing pain in the arch with the first steps out of bed in the morning. It is more likely to occur in runners with very low or very high arch height, poor footwear, heavier weight, those that stand a lot for work or those that have ramped up training mileage too quickly. Self treatment can include rolling the foot over a frozen water bottle for 5 minutes several times a day, wearing a Strassburg sock at night to keep a stretch on the plantar fascia, and gently stretching the plantar fascia and calf muscles. A physical therapist can provide hands-on therapy, help to instruct you in the appropriate stretches if foot or calf tightness are present, evaluate if back issues, tight hip muscles or a weak core are changing your stride, identify appropriate footwear for your arch type, teach you how to use elastic therapeutic tape for arch support and recommend orthotics like Superfeet if you need something more supportive and permanent.
A lot of runners and athletes have found taping to be beneficial as it may provide enough relief to allow you to continue running or exercising while working on the strengthening. If you want to learn how you can tape your own knee, click on the link below to get access to a special training video on taping for Achilles Tendonitis.
We are always available to consult with you individually as well - just contact us to set up an appointment.