Heel Pain – Plantar Fasciitis

August 22, 2017

  If you wake up dreading putting your feet on the ground and taking those first few steps because of an intense pain in your heels, then it sounds like you could have Plantar Fasciitis. Don’t worry! While this condition can be extremely limiting and painful, you’re in the perfect place as heel pain is one of our specialities here at Perform Podiatry. Here’s what you need to know about Plantar Fasciitis. What is Plantar Fasciitis? Your plantar fascia is a thick connective tissue band that runs from the bottom of your heel (where you’ll be feeling your pain) and spans out like a fan to connect into your toes. It works to help support your arch and foot and you engage it and put pressure on it every single time you take a step. Plantar fasciitis describes the condition where your plantar fascia has become damaged, and as a result is painful and often inflamed. Damage occurs when the fascia is overloaded to a point that it can’t tolerate, and so it gets small tears through its fibres. If the damage is bad, the plantar fascia can be partially torn or may completely rupture. Factors that contribute to overloading and subsequent damage can include (among many more):
  • Sudden increase in physical activity or training
  • Faulty foot biomechanics
  • Unsupportive footwear
  • High-impact activities
  • Activities that strain the arch (and hence fascia) such as stair climbing
  • Increased weight
  • Trauma/injury to the heel – such as standing on a sharp rock or jumping down from a high surface
While the above factors are more common, Plantar Fasciitis can result from any activity or action that places great tension on the fascia beyond normal limits. How do I know if I have Plantar Fasciitis? Because there are other tissues and structures around your heels and arch, the first step is to see your Podiatrist so they can confirm a diagnosis and rule out the pain being caused by anything else. Typical signs of Plantar Fasciitis include:
  • Pain located on the bottom and/or inner heel that can radiate up into the arch
  • First step pain in the morning that may ease as you continue to walk
  • Pain on standing after sitting/rest
  • Pain can range from a mild discomfort to an intense stabbing pain
How is Plantar Fasciitis treated? Your Podiatrist will prescribe a thorough treatment plan for you based on your level of injury, symptoms, the initial cause, as well as your lifestyle and goals. It’s important to address all causative factors or there may be a significant chance of your Plantar Fasciitis recurring. Here at Perform Podiatry, we don’t want you wasting time (and money) trying methods that aren’t effective and instead focus on getting you the best clinical outcomes as fast as possible, and with the best long-term result. We work with you so you can continue to enjoy the activities you love while recovering from injury. Your treatment may include:
  • Orthotics – to support the arch and reduce tension off the Plantar Fascia so it can begin to heal instead of being constantly strained on walking
  • Footwear check – to ensure your footwear didn’t contribute to the development of your Plantar Fasciitis and isn’t prolonging recovery
  • Stretching exercises – not only to help stretch the fascia to reduce pain (where appropriate) but to also stretch other muscle groups that may have contributed to the development of Plantar Fasciitis, such as tight calf muscles
  • Trigger point dry needling –  to release or inactivate trigger points to relieve pain or improve range of motion. This is usually done in the calf region
  • Strapping – to temporarily help keep your foot in a position that places minimal strain on the fascia
  • Managing acute symptoms – to help reduce pain and the initial inflammation so that healing can begin
Your podiatrist will also provide helpful tips to get the best and fastest recovery, as well as referring you for an ultrasound or x-ray where necessary. Perform Podiatry specialises in managing Plantar Fasciitis and heel pain If you’re struggling with heel pain and suspect it may be Plantar Fasciitis, our expert team will get you on the road to recovery in no time! We understand that Plantar Fasciitis is frustrating and often limits our patients ability to conduct regular daily tasks when they’re on their feet and hence have a significant negative impact on their quality of life. At Perform Podiatry, we’re proud to be leaders in the field of clinical biomechanics and specialise in the various causes of heel pain – and of course how to effectively treat them! We maintain a high level of clinical excellence in everything we do – come in, experience it for yourself, and stop putting up with your heel pain!