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Expert Interviews - Plantar Fasciitis

Ian Sadler is a Sports podiatrist who has worked extensively with athletes and the British Military. He talks about the biomechanics of achilles tendon pain.

Susan Findlay teaches sports massage at the North London School of Sports Massage. She explains how massage can aid in the recovery of achilles tendonitis.

Biomechanics of heel pain

There are nine or ten types of heel pain, with the most common being plantar fasciitis. The plantar fascia runs from the inner heel to the big toe, wrapping around the big toe joint. As the foot lifts up the fascia shortens, maintaining the arch of the foot. Anything which increases the strain on the fascia causes a strain and breaks in the fascia, resulting in the classic symptoms.

However, there are many other causes of heel and arch pain and so plantar fasciitis should not be the only injury considered. There could be a heel spur, nerve injury or even an achilles problem.

Sports massage for plantar fasciitis

Susan explains how sports massage can benefit cases of plantar fasciitis by easing the tension of the fascia in the sole of the foot using friction and stretching techniques.

She also explains how working on other structures within the body can have a positive effect on the condition. Sports massage may be incredibly effective after one session, or it may take several regular sessions to make an impact. Susan advises on treating little and often, allowing at least 3 to 4 days in between treatments.