myPhysioSA Physiotherapist and Dancer, Jacki Eads, has the knowledge from her many years as a dancer, her physiotherapy studies and experience to share with us information and advice about common dance injuries and how physiotherapy can help.
In this installment of Common Dance Injuries, Jacki tells us about Heel or Arch of Foot Pain and if it could be Plantar Fasciitis.
Could your foot pain be plantar fasciitis?
The most common cause of heel or arch of foot pain in adults is plantar fasciitis.
The plantar fascia is a thick band of connective tissue on the base of your foot.
It runs from the heel to the ball and helps to support the arch of the foot in weight bearing.
Plantar fasciitis is simply an inflammation of this connective tissue.
It most commonly presents as pain under the heel that can run up under the arch of the foot, with a feeling of tightness.
It may be worse first thing in the morning getting out of bed or when you stand up after a long period of sitting.
It can present in one or both feet and may come on gradually over time without an acute injury.
What causes plantar fasciitis?
Plantar fasciitis is caused by overload to the plantar fascia, due to inadequate strength in the muscles that support the arch of the foot or poor footwear.
Plantar fasciitis may occur if you have a sudden increase in activity levels such as:
- Returning to dance after time off
- Adding a second or third dance class into your week
- An increase in time spent jumping during class (allegro, grand allegro)
- Taking up or increasing pointe work
- Other fitness activities like running
- Jobs that involve a lot of standing or walking
How to treat plantar fasciitis?
Increasing muscle strength and addressing tight fascia through the lower limb is the most important treatment for long term management of plantar fasciitis.
While it heals, the plantar fascia must also be gently offloaded and supported.
A myPhysioSA Physiotherapist can:
- Use manual therapies such as soft tissue work and dry needling to ease pain
- Assess your biomechanics and put together a targeted home exercise program
- Address your footwear and possibly fit orthotics for support
- Use tape to offload the plantar fascia and provide support
- And most importantly suggest how to modify your dance class so you can still participate!
Improving your lower limb and foot strength so you are working with correct biomechanics and control will help with all aspects of your dancing for years to come.
Visit one of our myPhysioSA Physiotherapists at our Adelaide or Mount Barker clinics to help you identify the cause of your foot pain and get you back dancing as soon as possible!
Jacki Eads, myPhysioSA Physiotherapist and Pilates Instructor Mount Barker