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Plantar fasciitis is characterized by pain on the plantar surface (bottom) of the foot. It is usually worse first thing in the morning on getting out of bed, and after prolonged periods of sitting.
Despite the suffix -itis, it is not a true inflammation, but it is a degeneration of the fascia on the plantar surface of the foot.
Causes of plantar fasciitis include inadequate arch support, high body mass index, and prolonged periods of standing or weight bearing.
There are several considerations to working with plantar fasciitis.
1) Work on the plantar surface of the foot.
When working on the plantar surface (bottom) of the foot, deep strokes should go towards the heel. The plantar fascia has a small attachment at the front of the calcaneus and a very broad attachment at the front of the foot. If you do deep strokes away from the heel you create tension on this narrow attachment and can cause irritation and inflammation.
2) Work on the Gastrocnemius and Soleus.
Relieving tension in the Gastrocnemius and Soleus will relieve tension on the bottom of the foot.
Trigger Point and Counterstrain - to release trigger points in the Gastrocnemius and Soleus
Soft Tissue Release - to help stretch out and release tightness in the Gastrocnemius and Soleus
3) Calf and Foot Exercise
This Calf and Foot Exercise is something you can give to your clients to do at home. I recommend doing it at least 20 times when going to bed in the evening, and 20 times before getting out of bed in the morning. Stretching the calf muscles this way helps relieve the pain of plantar fasciitis.
4) Active Isolated Stretching
Stretches for the Gastrocnemius and Soleus may be helpful as well. Here are some stretches that your client can do at home:
Achilles Tendon Stretch
All stretches should be pain free.