This refers to inflammation of the firm band of tissue on the sole of the foot, but is usally felt as heel pain.
It is a common overuse injury in sportspeople, particularly those who do a lot of running, or jumping, but can also affect non sports people. Repetitive use of the fascia leads to micro-tears, when these accumulate faster than they can be repaired them inflammation results. Factors that contribute to Plantar Fasciitis include a recent increase in training volume, change in training surfaces or footwear, biomechanical problems and calf muscle tightness.
You will feel pain at the back of the heel on the sole of the foot, it usually starts gradually and may initially only be painful after exercise (often the following morning). As the condition gets worse the symptoms become more intrusive and may start to interfere with sport and cause pain with day to day activities. It is often terrible for the first few steps of the day or after sitting.
If you think you have this condition it is well worth getting it checked out by Mr Willis-Owen. In the mean time you should avoid any aggravating activities which may prolong the problem. It generally won't get better on its own. The first thing to do is to reduce the problem activities, and start a concerted program of calf stretching exercises. Anti-inflammatories and ice are helpful after exercise.
Charles has had this himself and not only got better from it but ended up faster and stronger.
Treatment involves first confirming the diagnosis then establishing the cause. X-rays or an ultrasound scan can be useful to exclude other problems and confirm the diagnosis. Treatment options may include specific physiotherapy, orthotics, injections or very rarely surgery. Most recently shockwave therapy has been shown to be very promising for treating this condition. This is a really exciting new non surgical treatment that gets your body to heal itself. It is no where near as painful as injections or surgery and is covered by most insurers and available to self funding patients. Click here to learn more: Shockwave.
Once you are recovered it is important to address any biomechanical problems, or other underlying factors in order to prevent recurrence.