The types of repetitive movement that contribute to plantar fascia tend to fall into two categories: direct trauma to the plantar fascia & indirect trauma via the Achilles tendon.
1. Direct Trauma
Like any tissue, the plantar fascia will become damaged if it is physically struck or stretched beyond capacity. Since we're on our feet most of the day, there are a lot of ways this can happen, but here are some examples:
All of these traumas are made worse if you spend a lot of time on your feet every day, or if you're over 40 - age and use degrades the plantar fascia at a cellular level, making it more susceptible to injury.
2. Indirect trauma via the Achilles tendon
The Achilles attaches to the same bone as the plantar fascia - the calcaneus. If the Achilles pulls excessively on the calcaneus, it will rotate only a few degrees and stretch the Plantar Fascia. Any exercise that tightens the calves will increase the risk of this indirect trauma.
There are lots of ways to avoid direct trauma:
You have less choice in avoiding indirect trauma via the Achilles - you just have to stretch your calves. See how here.
PF is self-limiting and will recover on its own in 12 months or so if you remove the initial stressor - stop causing direct trauma, and release the calves. If you need help removing the trauma (especially releasing the calves), speak to a health professional.
If you've removed the stressor, but don't have 12 months to wait, there are some option to speed the process along:
If you would like help navigating any of this, or for more information on plantar fasciitis, email me directly via the contact page. For specific information on an injury you have, or for treatment, contact one of my clinics directly. You can find that information here.
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Plantar Fasciitis (Latin: plantar = sole; fasci = fascia - the connective tissue between skin and muscle; itis = inflammation) should really be called Plantar Fasciopathy (Latin: opathy = injury/disease) because there isn't actually an inflammatory process at all.
Plantar Fasciitis (PF) is a repetitive strain injury of the plantar fascia, causing pain at its attachment in the heel, often referring pain along the arch of the foot.
Dr Mitch Clark