How to relieve symptoms of plantar fasciitis
In this article, we reach out to the Clinical Director and Physiotherapist of Physiologic Ryan Tan to talk about how best to relieve symptoms of plantar fasciitis for athletes, to get you back to performing at your best, faster.
Plantar fasciitis is one of those foot injuries Physiotherapists deal with daily that has the ability to really hinder athletes who demand explosive power generation from the ground up.
For the combat sport athlete, it’ll slow down your takedowns and weaken your striking, making you a vulnerable target.
For the CrossFit athlete, it means not being able to power through 50 unbroken double unders, pushing you down the leader board.
For the weightlifter, your first pull will suffer, lowering your total weights lifted.
If left unmanaged, plantar fasciitis could potentially turn into something chronic, so it’s always best to tackle it as soon as you start noticing the symptoms.
PLANTAR FASCIITIS SYMPTOMS
Here are some classic symptoms that you may experience if you have plantar fasciitis
- Pain in the sole of your foot, around the heel or arch of your foot.
- The first few steps when you get out of bed are painful
- Pain in your foot when you load it, jumping, landing, running and sometimes even walking can be painful.
PLANTAR FASCIITIS CAUSES
As with most injuries, the number 1 cause of plantar fasciitis is
‘Doing too much too soon’.
The Plantar Fascia is a thick piece of connective tissue made up of collagen fibers that are designed to transfer force throughout your foot, and also to maintain the arch in your foot.
If there is a sudden change and spike in your training intensity, it’s highly likely that the Plantar Fascia may not have the capacity to deal with the increased load and may become injured, causing pain and loss of function.
Some other common causes of Plantar Fasciitis include:
- Stiff Ankle into Dorsiflexion
- Stiff Big Toe into extension
- Poor intrinsic foot control (dynamic arch support)
- Poor dynamic pelvic stability
RELIEVING PLANTAR FASCIITIS
Even though the causes of plantar fasciitis are multifactorial, there are simple strategies that you can do today to start relieving your plantar fasciitis pain, and all the equipment you need can be found in VR’s Recovery packs.
TRIGGER POINT BALL FOOT RELEASE
Roll the ball under your arch to help release the intrinsic foot muscles that support your plantar fascia, it’ll help to reduce the tension in your foot, instantly relieving some pain. Rolling the ball under your foot also helps to improve circulation throughout the foot - creating a better environment for natural healing.
Pro tip: If you can coordinate keeping your big toe pointing up while you roll your foot, it’ll give you an even better release.
TAPING YOUR FOOT
Using the sports tape can be a very powerful method of deloading the Plantar Fascia. If applied correctly, it may even alleviate the pain during dynamic movements, potentially allowing you to continue training throughout your recovery process.
Try a low dye taping technique that places small strips of tape horizontally across your arch, acting to support and deload the plantar fascia.
SELF MYOFASCIAL RELEASE WITH VR Tech Quiet Massage Gun
The massage gun is an excellent self-release tool that you can use to help relieve symptoms of Plantar Fasciitis. I would typically recommend release 2 key areas
1: Using a round head on the massage gun directed at the calves on the inside of your shin (Medial Gastrocnemius and Soleus).
2: Using the pin point head on the muscles around the arch of your foot.
By releasing the muscles of your calf and foot, you will help to release the tension that is placed on the plantar fascia, leading to an alleviation of your symptoms.
GLUTE ACTIVATION DRILLS WITH VR STRENGTH BANDS
Part of an effective strategy to treat Plantar Fasciitis is to address the cause of dysfunction.
When Physiotherapists go through a thorough assessment in clients with Plantar Fasciitis, we commonly find that there is a functional weakness in the Glutes that contribute to the injury.
Using the VR Strength Bands are an excellent way to rehabilitate the Glute muscles to help improve the dynamic control of the lower limb. Better control will lead to better loading, and lower injury risk!
Try using the VR Strength Bands for drills like Crab Walks, Hip Thrusts and Squats for better Glute activation.
FOAM ROLLING LOWER LIMB
Using the foam roller is a great way to help muscles to cool down post workout, or as part of a regular body maintenance program.
When people suffer with Plantar Fasciitis, here are the key muscles I’ll usually recommend foam rolling to help speed up the recovery process and relieve pain
Don’t let Plantar Fasciitis hold you back from making progress in your sport.
Having a VR Recovery Pack contains all the necessary tools required to optimise your body’s recovery from intense activity, allowing you to train harder, for longer.
Ready to take action? Check out our sleek and sophisticated product range here.
If you liked this article and want to see more epic content from Ryan, follow him on Instagram @physio.culture or head to Physiologic (www.physiologichk.com)