What is Plantar Fasciitis?
The Plantar Fascia is a thick band of tissue on the underside of the foot running from the front of the heel to the ball of the foot. This band of tissue is what creates the arch of the foot. The Plantar Fascia is separated into three different bands. One is positioned near the instep, the other in the centre of the foot, and the final band runs near the outer side of the foot. During walking and running the Plantar Fascia has a shock absorbing role.
When the fascia is overstretched or overused, it can become inflamed, most commonly under the heel. The medical term for this inflammation is called Plantar Fasciitis.
What are the causes & risk factors of Plantar Fasciitis?
- Foot arch problems
- Runners who overpronate (feet rolling in or flattening)
- Obesity, this will put extra strain on your heel.
- Repetitive loading on the feet from lots of walking, standing, running
- Recent weight gain.
- Tight Achilles tendon (the tendon connecting the calf muscles to the heel).
- Shoes with poor arch support or poor cushioning.
- Affects active men/ women ages 40 – 70
What are the symptoms of Plantar Fasciitis?
Plantar Fasciitis often leads to point tenderness on the inside portion of the heel where the heel and arch meet. This painful tenderness often occurs first thing in the morning when you first place your heel on the ground. The tenderness can also be present after long periods of standing or exercise.
This condition can be disabling and often effect your ability to carry day to day activities. It is the most common cause of heel pain seen in medicine.
What are the treatment options?
The most appropriate appointment will be an Orthopaedic Assessment (see Orthopaedic Assessment). The assessment is designed to identify the potential cause and remedy this. It is likely you will require a diagnostic ultrasound scan so the Podiatrist can accurately diagnose the problem and the extent of the trauma.
There are a variety of treatments we are able to offer including:
- Bespoke orthotics
- Therapeutic ultrasound
- A range of advanced injection therapies
If left untreated this condition can become problematic and the longer it is left increases the likelihood of surgery. The Podiatrist will discuss the treatment options with you and formulate a treatment plan.