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  • Catherine Wasik




The common condition plantar fasciopathy has a symptoms picture of pain to the foot, especially the heel and sole.  It is associated with weakness of the deep foot muscles of the arch of the foot (the intrinsic arch muscles- (particularly flexor digitorum brevis) and peroneus longus (a muscle that runs from the lateral side of the lower leg into the underside of the foot).  Problems occur when these muscles, fail to cope well with the force as the sole flattens when to foot is placed on the ground, and how well the arch of the foot recoils, when the foot is lifted back off the ground.

Symptoms usually include foot pain, pain worse after a period of rest and in the morning when getting out of bed.  Limping, when movement is first started, but ease of pain as movement is continued. 


Lack of stability is common and also associated with pain.  This pattern of symptoms results in a change the sensory tissue in the foot and ultimately results in a reduced proprioception, which helps our brain to understand where our body is in space.  This all affects the biomechanics (how the body moves) of the body.

Tom Myers, a structural bodyworker and author, described the body as a balanced system through its muscular and fascial tissue.  This describes well how the pelvis, and other areas of the body, are intimately connected.  To understand how the pelvis and the foot are connected we can look, in particular, at the superficial back line.  This line connects the plantar fascia, Achilles tendon, hamstrings, deep gluteal ligament (sacrotuberous ligament), sacrolumbar fascia, cranial fascia and cranium (frontal bone).     


If we hold a good posture the line creates good stability, however when not in good posture poor stability can result putting excess strain on areas put under most pressures and/or all along the chain.


Some easy exercises that can help in plantar fasciopathy


There are many exercises that can help with this condition.  The key is trying to get all the muscle groups to work effectively, and to improve posture so the mechanics of the body are working at their most effective.  It sounds so easy …right!!!!


Some of the exercises include stretching (Single leg calf stretches and Calf stretch on a slanted board) and contracting the calf muscle (Single leg calf raises).  Single leg calf raises can be advanced to ensure the intrinsic foot muscles are being engaged (Single leg calf raises with band under big toe). 


Moving up the superficial back line we can include gluteal stretches and pelvic engagement (figure 4 stretch and bridge exercise).


Foot wear is often associated with the onset of plantar fasciopathy.  The current recommendations are to wear a shoe that has a wide toe box.  This means that the front of the shoe has sufficiently good room for the feet to promote what is known as the tie bar mechanism when the fore foot (not toes) can spread effectively during the walking phase. 


Contact details: for more information and advice:      

Registered Osteopath and Medical Herbalist, With acupuncture training and rehabilitation pilates instructor training

At George Morris Physiotherapy Clinics in Hindley and Ashton

Direct line: 07828261152; 

Herbal Osteopathic Life



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