Plantar fascia pain Aka ‘Runners heel’

The plantarfascia is the layer of tissue between the skin and the muscles on the sole of the feet. Its role is to support the arch of the foot. The arch is especially important during ‘foot strike’ and ‘toe off’ during walking and especially running.

Plantar fascia pain is the most commonly reported heel pain in runners. Commonly described as stepping on a piece of lego; the pain is usually a sharp stabbing pain in the heel and/or along the arch of the foot. Pain and stiffness is usually worse in the morning or after sitting for prolonged periods as the arch tightens up and is then put under load when stiff.  With activity the pain typically is worse initially then eases, but comes back afterwards with a vengeance.

Jogger with hurt anklePlantar fascia pain is seen in sedentary and active populations. In runners it can be caused by over-training, tight calf muscles, changes in footwear or changes of training surface.  It is often ignored for a period of time rendering it a more chronic inflammatory response that can be harder to reverse.  However there is a growing body of research into successful management options including specific stretches, targeted strength programmes and treatments such as shockwave therapy.

If you are a runner or are plagued by persistent heel pain that isn’t going away then get in touch with the team at Kinetics Physiotherapy & Rehabilitation to get on the road to recovery.  You won’t have to go around stepping on pieces of lego any more!

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After well over a decade working as a musculoskeletal physiotherapist; David joined the team at Kinetics stepping into the role of Principal and owner. David has worked with the Championship winning NZ Breakers basketball team and continues in a role as a touring physiotherapist with Athletics New Zealand. Previously David has worked as a consultant sports physio to Triathlon USA and Triathlon Canada working alongside multiple Olympians including Rio 2016 Gold Medalist Gwen Jorgenssen. With his own background as a World Championship representative duathlete, David combines his clinical knowledge with a personal understanding of the demands in high performance sport. David has a strong interest in gym based rehabilitation and is passionate about injury prevention for youth athletes. This has led to completing post-graduate studies in spinal manipulation, sports physiotherapy, dry needling, injury prevention and more. In addition to clinical physiotherapy; David works weekly as a post-surgical consultant to orthopaedic surgeon Mr Warren Leigh. This has involved developing post-surgical rehab protocols and an expertise in custom knee bracing for complex injuries.