Have you got a Policeman’s Foot?
I love this old fashioned name for Plantar Fasciitis and heel pain. It goes well with the “flat foot” description of a policeman, as it is often associated with . . . flat feet!
What is plantar fasciitis?
Plantar – relating to the sole of your foot
Fascia – A sheet of connective tissue around muscles and organs in the body
‘itis – inflammation
So we have inflammation of the connective tissue on the sole of your foot, this runs from the base of your heel, along the sole of your foot, supporting your arch, to your toes. So it’s a really important part of your foot!
The plantar fascia is also connected to your Achilles Tendon so it is important to include and treat that as well to resolve pain.
Symptoms – heel pain / pain in the sole of your foot.
feels “stiff” in the morning
Pain after lots of walking
Sudden stretching / stairs / tiptoes can make it worse.
How to help
Shoes – cushioned heels and good arch support. Avoid flip flops!
Treatment – Physiotherapy helps to reduce the irritation and stretch the plantar fascia and Achilles Tendon. A full gait analysis and some support in sports shoes can also help if you are a keen athlete.
Ice – Pop a half full 500ml bottle of water in the freezer. Roll it gently under your foot when you are feeling stiff or painful. Especially nice in summer!
Stretches and Exercise –
- Stand on a step with your heels hanging off the edge. (hold on if you need to!) Lower your heels either together or alternate until you feel a stretch.
- Sit on a chair with your feet flat on the floor. Lift your toes and the balls of your feet up, keeping your heels on the floor.
- Sit on the floor with your legs in front of you. Use a towel, band, belt or similar to loop over the toes of one foot. Gently increase the tension while keeping your leg straight and your heel on the floor. Alternate legs.