Plantar Fasciitis

Plantar Fasciitis and heel and arch pain.

 

Plantar fasciitis is a painful condition commonly associated with the heel and the arch of the foot.  There are many causes of the condition but generally its believed to be from faulty foot function, activity levels.

 

The plantar fascia is a band of connective tissue the runs from the heel to the ball of the foot.   If it becomes inflamed or irritated then we may experience pain along the base of the foot.   Inflammation can occur anywhere along the plantar fasciia (plantar aponuerosis) but pain is most common on the base and on the inside (medial) section of the heel.

 

Most people will notice that their feet hurt first few steps in the morning and wear off with activity and then occur more sever following activity.

 

On some occasions the condition may progress from moderate pain to severe  pain where people complain that they can hardly walk.  This can affect their sport, their social life and even their work

 

Causes

Of the many causes of Plantar heel and arch pain, they are usually associated to

  1. A change in footwear
  2. A change in activity level
  3. General weakness in the feet and suppleness to the feet (associated with excess pronation)
  4. High Arch Foot Type – A taught (tight) plantar fasciia of an excessively high arch foot type (supinating  foot type), may fail to absorb shock well and stress the plantar fasciia.
  5. Other associated medical condition (Diabetes and other disorders)

 

TREATMENTS: 

Custom Orthotic therapy. 

The primary treatment.  Specially designed tailor made foot orthotics are one of the major treatment factors in preventing and healing Plantar Fasciitis.  Like prescription glasses but for you feet, a specially designed foot orthotics is administered to reduce the shock and strain during activity and re-align your feet to allow heeling and optimum in-shoe performance.  A cast or scan is usually taken to provide a custom fit device.

 Gait re-education (Bare foot walking strategies). 

The manor in how you walk and run can be a major contributor to the development of foot pain.  We would assess how your use your feet in your natural condition.   If you are in the group who could use your musculoskeletal system more effectively to correct foot posture, then gait re education may provide you with significant benefit.  Podiatrist will often work with another musculoskeletal therapist such as a chiropractor or physiotherapist to ensure that you are effectively recruiting the muscles of your body to prevent injury and protect from further trauma.  This process is carried out gradually and slowly as some people find that any barefoot activity is just too painful to start with.  The walking and standing exercises can be tailored to be performed in footwear in a safe and effective manor.

 Stretches. 

Targeted calf stretches are a believed to be beneficial in the treatment of Plantar arch pain along with light massage of the foot.

Orthopaedic referral for Shockwave

Short sessions of shockwave therapy can be provided, we would refer you to a lead consultant orthopaedic surgeon

Orthopaedic referral for Steriod injections

Usually this is the case when all else has been unsuccessful.

We recommend www.dfac.co.uk for all foot and ankle orthopaedic surgical enquiries

Surgery for the plantar fascia

Surgery is only considered when all conservative treatment has been attempted and are no longer viable.

 

If you are getting symptoms of heel and arch pain, and suspect or have been diagnosed with Plantar Fasciitis, then contact your Podiatrists today for an assessment on how you can deal with the condition and reduce symptoms so you can return to normal healthy levels of activity.

This article was written by Ruggero

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