Pain in the heel when stepping on the foot - overloaded plantar fascia

Did you start to feel pain in the foot area? Do you feel stabbing pain in your heel during every step you make? Do you feel the pain also in your foot or Achilles tendon? You are most likely troubled by inflammation of the plantar fasciitis (ligamentous sheath of the muscles) or heel spur.



Plantar fasciitis of the foot is a result of overloaded soft structures in the foot, usually ligaments. It leads to local swelling and inflammation from insufficient blood circulation of the area as a result of micro pressure on the capillaries in the surrounding area. This inflammation can spread to surrounding muscles and cause pain in a different place, for example in the front part of the foot, back on the heel, or in the attachment of the Achilles tendon.


The main manifestation of the problems is a strong pain in the heel area, in the foot, instep or in the front part of the foot. Just as painful can be a side effect manifestation of an unpleasant shooting pain into the area of the heel or Achilles tendon.


CLRVhlaviceThe occurrence can have several different reasons. The most typical is:

  • Unfitting or new shoes
  • Excessive one-sided pressure
  • Flat feet
  • Injury of the foot, heel, Achilles tendon
  • Degenerative and inflammatory diseases


Inflammation of the plantar fasciitis can be proved on a diagnostic ultrasound, where we can observe the thickening of this structure. We can also feel by touch some sort of strings in the surface structure on the sole of the foot.


Are you troubled and restricted by these problems in daily activities, such as walking? There are effective solutions which can help you to get rid of these unpleasant difficulties. These include techniques for loosening the soft tissues of the sole, leg and ankle. It is about treating painful points in muscles and fascia. Another option is to mobilize smaller joints of the foot and heel, that way we will improve their overall mobility.

One of the most effective methods is the application of radial or focused shock wave, which greatly accelerates the healing of inflammation and improves regeneration. Significant support is also kinesio taping. It improves blood circulation and flow of the lymph. It also relaxes the muscles of the foot sole.

As an effective alternative proved to be therapy of the flat feet. Which is about concentrating on the three supportive points of the foot, we can also applly such methods as sensory motor exercises on unstable surfaces in order to improve function of the foot and stability.

Within the treatment we also perform therapy of functional disorders of the lower limbs, pelvis, and alternatively also spine - the axis of the leg, position of the pelvis, etc. Just as important is the prevention against the problems occurring again. We recommend to keep a peaceful regime and wearing orthopedic insoles which are supporting the heels, etc...

Stretching Plantar fasciitisStretching the plantar fasciitis

Instructions for exercises:

  • First aid for heel and foot pain
  • Exercises in case of heel spurs
  • Exercise during problems with flat foot
  • Injury / inflammation of the Achilles tendon

Author: Mgr. Iva Bílková, FYZIOklinika physiotherapy Ltd., Prague, Czech Republic
Source: Clinical experience from private practice in physiotherapeutic field, FYZIOklinika

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