What is it?

Plantar Heel pain is the most common injury that Podiatrists treat. Plantar fasciitis is the irritation and symptomatic injury to your plantar fascia. The plantar fascia is a band of connective tissue that runs from the base of the heel to the toes. This fascia is the main supportive structure through your arch whilst you are walking.

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Plantar Fasciitis heel pain

Plantar Fasciitis Symptoms:

  • Pain in the plantar surface of your heel pad
  • Dull aching, throbbing sensations, sometimes sharp and stabbing
  • Pain into the arch of your foot
  • Tenderness with taking steps, usually first thing in the morning or after a period of rest
  • Heel pain during exercise, rest or when weightbearing

How did I get it?

Plantar Fasciitis can be caused by many factors. Most patients with heel pain often have a combination of the following risk factors:

  • Incorrect or worn footwear
  • Tight calf muscles
  • Poor biomechanics
  • Flat or high arched feet
  • Prolonged standing especially on hard surfaces
  • Sudden increase in weight
  • Sudden change or increase in activity level

How is it diagnosed?

Through a clinical and biomechanical examination with your podiatrist. Depending on severity of your symptoms, you may/may not be referred for an ultrasound.

Treatment options:

  • Supportive taping
  • Shockwave therapy
  • Custom orthotics
  • Compression sleeves
  • Stretching and strengthening exercises
  • Supportive footwear

  • Gait retraining
  • Neuromuscular needling
  • Rest and ice
  • Foot massage
  • Possible cortisone injections or surgery in severe cases

Prognosis:

Following the prescribed stretch and strengthening prescriptions, exercise modifications, and footwear advice is essential for recovery.

Your podiatrist will provide you with suggestions of what footwear is most suitable for you. It is best to avoid being barefoot where possible and update any old or worn footwear to improve prognosis.

Although Plantar fasciitis is extremely painful, approximately 95% of cases respond to conservative treatment. This may take up to 6 months depending on how long the inflammation has been present and how severe the pain has become.

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