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Suffering from foot pain? Here’s what you can do!

Have you been experiencing foot pain? It may be that you’re suffering from Plantar Fasciitis, the most common cause of pain in the foot. The plantar fascia is a strong band of tissue (like a ligament) that goes from the heel to the middle foot bones. It supports the arch of the foot and also acts as a shock-absorber.

Plantar Fasciitis is most likely caused by the result of small tears in the plantar fascia. As you walk normally, the tissue band (plantar fascia) stretches. If the plantar fascia becomes strained by repeated pressure or by the way you walk, it can weaken, become inflamed and even tear. Other causes that may lead to developing the condition include being overweight, being very active, being in a labour-intensive job where you are on your feet all the time and foot problems such as high arches, flat feet and tight Achilles tendons.

What can osteopaths do to help your foot pain?

Osteopathy can help restore movement and function to decrease the load on the plantar fascia. When you visit the osteopath, he/she will do a gait-analysis to assess how you walk and stand and they will then assess the mobility of your feet, ankles, legs, pelvis and back (amongst other things). They will then try to come up with a solution to help with your pain and will perform the osteopathic techniques needed to help reduce or cure it. The practitioner may also give you further advice and exercises for you to take home.  Dr Jerry Draper-Rodi, Osteopath and Lecturer at the BSO recommends the advice found in a recent research study1 which suggests stretching the plantar fascia every day and doing high-load strength training every other day. The research suggests that stretching may prove effective in the short-term and strength training may prove effective in the long-term. 

The following pictures show how you can stretch and engage in high-strength training to help treat your plantar fasciitis.

 

Stretching exercise:

 

High-load strengthening exercises:

 

What can you do to help yourself at home?

Along with the advice given above, you can make sure your footwear is suitable and supportive for you. More often than not, wearing inappropriate footwear can worsen the condition.

You can also make sure you go easy on yourself and that you’re not putting any extra pressure on your foot from every day chores and physical movements.

Please note that this post is informative; if you experience similar symptoms, we recommend speaking to a health professional and getting a proper diagnosis to verify that these exercises are suitable for you.

If you’d like to visit us for an appointment, please contact the clinic by calling 020 7089 5360 or emailing clinicappointments@bso.ac.uk.

1. M. S. Rathleff, C. M. Mølgaard, U. Fredberg, S. Kaalund, K. B. Andersen, T. T. Jensen, S. Aaskov andJ. L. Olesen. High-load strength training improves outcome in patients with plantar fasciitis: A randomized controlled trial with 12-month follow-up. Scandinavian Journal of Medicine & Science in Sports.

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