How to Treat Plantar Fasciitis
Plantar fasciitis is a painful foot condition that can be very debilitating and often strikes people who are fit and active.
It used to be called "policeman's heel" as it was an occupational hazard for police officers walking the beat.
The plantar fascia is a strong band of tissue that stretches from the heel to the middle foot bones. It supports the longitudinal arch and acts as a shock absorber for the foot.
Someone with plantar fasciitis has developed micro-tears and subsequent inflammation in the plantar fascia, and even placing the foot on a flat floor can cause excruciating pain. It is a condition that can develop slowly or appear seemingly instantly. The pain is usually worse first thing in the morning or after resting. This is because of the micro-tears starting to heal and then being torn apart by using the foot, so each day, or every time someone starts moving having rested, the tears are re-torn, causing pain.
There are number of causes: an increase in usual activity (e.g. runners increasing their training regime for a race), introducing new activities, a change in the surface usually trained on, obesity, poor running technique, wearing shoes with inadequate heel protection, and, in some cases, tightness of the Achilles tendon.
It can affect one or both feet. The location of the pain will usually be in the main pad of the heel and it will often be tender just to touch.
- Massage is safe in the treatment of plantar fasciitis but you should always avoid any pressure directly onto the client's heel.
- Avoid work into the side of the Achilles tendon if your client is pregnant.
- Do not use this massage if your client has a deep vein thrombosis.
- Do not massage over any varicose veins if present in the leg.