Plantar Fasciitison March 14th, 2011 at 6:31 am
Everyone’s an expert on plantar fasciitis on the web these days. There is no end of advice on how to treat plantar fasciitis. The websites you find the advice on range from the well written and well researched and evidence based to the nonsense like you see on some footwear websites and those with a product to sell. There is nothing secretive or magic about plantar fasciitis.
The key principle in plantar fasciitis is that it is due to too much load or stress in the plantar fascia. The best way to treat plantar fasciitis is to reduce that load. This is achieved by reducing activity levels (not always possible); reducing body weight (may have to be a very long term goal); strapping (a very effective short term measure); stretching the calf muscles (essential); and the use of foot orthotics (but not all foot orthotic design features actually work to reduce the load, so the right foot orthotic for plantar fasciitis is essential).
None of the other treatments for plantar fasciitis actually work at reducing the load in the plantar fascia. They are all aimed at helping the tissues heal. It does make sense in those with plantar fasciitis that the load is reduced first, and then one or some of all the other treatments can be applied.
Only in rare occasions should surgery be needed for plantar fasciitis. More often than not, if the conservative treatments are not working it is because the load in the damaged tissue has not been reduced adequately.
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