Following the Great North Run, we at Activate see a wide variety of running based injuries coming through our clinic.
The huge spike in training intensity, volume and load can cause common injuries to occur and there is one which we frequently get asked questions about.
The Plantar Fascia within the foot complex. Common knowledge would imply that conditions that end in “itis” are inflammatory in nature. However, when looking at new evidence and research within plantar fascia rehab, it is clear to see that this condition is more similar to a tendinopathy. Therefore, when we tend to rehab this injury, it responds very well to being loaded as apposed to being rested.
Common signs and symptoms to look out for?
- Pain first thing in the morning with your first few steps
- Pain on the bottom of your foot on the medial or inside, or more specifically, pain that arises near the heel bone (Calcaneus)
- Pain or a sensitive sensation when walking barefoot
When looking at the rehab process a mixture of manual therapy and self management strengthening and lengthening exercises are appropriate. We focus on the loading of the big toe (1st MTP joint), increase the calf and foot intrinsic muscle strength and create a more stable arch within the foot which is maintained with single leg balancing tasks.
The rehab process plays a vital role in eliminating aggravating factors and will help to build the strength and mobility of the foot and aid in a successfully recovery.
We have found the following exercises the most beneficial to the recovery process alongside manual therapy techniques in clinic;
- Big toe elevated calf raises
- Calf raises
- Sissy squats
- 3 way big toe loaded mobilisations
- Weighted towel scrunch
- Creating an arch drill with single leg balance
- Maintaining an arch drill with cross body single leg reaches