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  • Danielle Labuschagne

Plantar Fasciitis – the thorn in your flesh!

Are you accusing your spouse of leaving thorns on the carpet every morning when you get up? This could be a sign of plantar fasciitis, but don’t worry, we can help!!

What is Plantar Fasciitis?

Plantar Fasciitis is a clinical condition that presents as a sharp pain and tightness in the heel that can spread all the way to your mid foot. Pain is provoked when putting load on your foot and is usually worse in the mornings of after sitting for long periods of time. The pain typically eases once you start walking.

This condition was described as inflammation of the plantar fascia – the undersurface muscles and soft tissue of the foot. However, research shows that this pain could be the cause of minor degenerative changes and subsequent thickening of these tissues. (Somehow like wrinkles on our face)

Risk factors for Plantar Fasciitis:

- Excessive foot pronation - “flat feet”

- High foot arches

- Excessive running – running on uneven surface like cambered roads

- Leg length discrepancy

- Occupations requiring prolonged standing (military)

- Tight calve muscles, Achilles tendon and foot muscles

- Bone spurs

How to remove that “thorn”?

Although this is a condition that usually improves on its own, the heel pain could be rather severe and disabling your daily activities, causing you to seek help.


Physiotherapists make use of multiple modalities that has shown to decrease pain, accelerate the healing time and improve your daily activities.

These modalities includes:

- Manual therapy such as deep myofascial massage to release tight muscles and soft tissue structures and joint mobilisations.

- Stretches of the plantar fascia and foot muscles are done and taught to the patient as home treatment

- Ultrasound to improve circulation and healing

- Exercises are taught to mobilise and strengthen the foot muscles, calves and tendons around the ankle and foot.

- Taping helps to take the load of the fascia to promote circulation and allow healing.

- Inner sole splint could be prescribed to support your foot arches and decrease the load on the fascia.

Self – treatment

This is something you can do at home to help ease the pain and get the healing process going:

- Stretches taught to you by a physio

- Icing helps to decrease pain and promote healing

- Self massage of the foot muscles.

So give your spouse a break, there are no thorns on your carpet…

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