What is Plantar Fasciitis?
Plantar fasciitis arises from damage to a tissue at the bottom of your foot called the plantar fascia, which causes inflammation and pain. The plantar fascia runs from the bottom of the heel and fans out to connect to all of the toes. The damage usually occurs in the part of the tissue that attaches to the heel, hence it is a big cause of heel pain for many people. Because plantar fasciitis also has similar symptoms as Abductor Hallucis Tendinopathy, it is important to have an accurate diagnosis from an experienced Podiatrist.
What is the cause?
The fascia is stretched every time we take a step, meaning that any overuse or a heavy load on the fascia can result in damage. Specific causes can include:
- A sudden increase in physical activity or overdoing it with exercise
- A day out in footwear with poor support
- Your foot type or faulty foot biomechanics
- Trauma to the foot
- Doing a big uphill walk
- and anything else that places stress on the plantar fascia!
What does it feel like?
The first telltale sign is heel pain first thing in the morning, as you get out of bed and take those first few steps at least. Pain when standing after putting your feet up or resting throughout the day is also very common. Essentially, the biggest symptom is pain at the bottom of the heel that is aggravated by walking. The pain can last for years if untreated and ranges in severity from mild discomfort to an excruciating ache.
How is it treated?
The first step is to see your podiatrist so you can get the right diagnosis, and have a treatment plan formulated that considers your goals and lifestyle. Treatment may include:
- Footwear assessment, to ensure they are helping and not hindering your progress
- Orthotics where they may be beneficial
- Stretching and strengthening
- Shockwave Therapy
- Taping or bracing
We may also refer you for an x-ray or ultrasound if needed. When left untreated and with continued overloading, plantar fasciitis may progress to a plantar fascial tear or even a rupture - another reason why you must see your Podiatrist, especially if it’s very painful - you may already have a tear which will alter the best recommended treatment.
Here at South Burnett Podiatry, your treatment is unique and reflects your specific needs, lifestyle and goals. We work with you to take into consideration your daily activities, work requirements and exercise commitments while getting you pain-free, active, mobile and doing the things you love as fast as possible.