Plantar Faciitis/Night Splints
Plantar Fasciitis is inflammation of the plantar fascia or arch tendon of the foot. It is an overuse injury causing heel pain which may radiate forward into the foot. Plantar fasciitis can also be known as a heel spur although they are not strictly the same. A heel spur is a bony growth that occurs at the attachment of the plantar fascia to the heel bone (calcaneus). A heel spur can occur (with repetitive pulling of the plantar fascia) on a foot with no symptoms at all and a painful heel can have no heel spur present.
How is plantar fasciitis Treated?
What can the athlete do?
* Rest until it is not painful. It can be very difficult to rest the foot as most people will be on their feet during the day for work. By walking on the painful foot you are continually aggravating the injury and increasing inflammation. However a good plantar fasciitis taping technique can help the foot get the rest it needs by supporting the plantar fascia. Tape is applied in strips across the plantar fascia taking the stress off the foot which allows the inflammation to settle and healing to take place. Click here for step by step instructions.
* Apply ice or cold therapy to help reduce pain and inflammation. Cold therapy can be applied regularly until symptoms have resolved.
* Stretching the plantar fascia is an important part of treatment and prevention. Simply reducing pain and inflammation alone is unlikely to result in long term recovery. The plantar fascia tightens up making the origin at the heel more susceptible to becoming inflamed. Tightening of the plantar fascia happens in particular over night which is why pain is often worse in the morning. A plantar fasciitis night splint (video) is an excellent product which is worn over night and gently stretches the calf muscles and plantar fascia preventing it from tightening up overnight.