What is it?
Plantar fasciitis is one of the most common causes of persistent heel pain affecting people of all ages from athletes, to kids as well as the more sedentary and elderly. No one is safe from this tortious problem. 1 in 10 people will develop plantar fasciitis in their lifetime.
The plantar fascia is a ligament that runs from your heel bone along the sole of your foot to support your arch. It is crucial to standing, walking and running, and it is under strain a lot of the time. Whilst it is a very strong connective tissue over-straining can make it weak, tender, swollen and painful. Plantar fasciitis is a type of repetitive strain injury that often causes pain directly underneath the heel bone. The first few steps in the morning can be agonising for people suffering from plantar fasciitis.
Factors contributing to the problem
When everything is working in synergy they can function without pain and tolerate large stresses placed upon them, when something is wrong, pain is our body’s warning symptom that something is not quite right. Finding out exactly why your injury has come about is paramount to a successful plan to get rid of your pain and get back to pain free daily activities and exercise.
Some common factors contributing to plantar fasciitis;
- Repetitive overuse to the plantar fascia
- Pronated or flat feet. Feet that roll in too much.
- Supinated or high arched feet. Feet that roll out too much.
- A previous foot injury or surgery
- A change in training or running load
- Walking, standing or running for long periods.
- Systemic Health & Medications
- Being overweight or a Sudden weight
- Wearing shoes that don’t fit well
- Wearing shoes that are worn out
- Tight calf muscles and Achilles tendons
- Referred pain from another part of your body
Stage of Treatment
Plantar fasciitis has a great success with a conservative podiatry and physiotherapy lead treatment plan
Phrase 1; A focus on relieving the pain and inflammation. Reducing the load on the painful tissue is paramount.
Phrase 2; Identifying and addressing the key contributing factors to the cause of the stress on the plantar fascia
Phrase 3; Improve the plantar fascia to tolerate its ability to deal with stress from walking and running. Preventative measure to ensure your pain does not return.
Moving through these three stages can be as quick as 4 weeks or as long as 6 months.
Every person is unique and everyone journey to solve plantar fasciitis is different. Almost always conservative treatment with a physiotherapist or podiatrist can be effective without the need for invasive drugs, injections or surgery.
A diagnosis is your first step to forming a plan to solve your plantar fasciitis. Heel pain is often always first thought as plantar fasciitis. The major problem with this is that not all heel pain is plantar fasciitis. Heel pain is an umbrella term that people give to a number of conditions that can cause pain surrounding the heel bone.
A qualified musculoskeletal screening by a physiotherapist or podiatrist can give further insight to the problem tissue in the body.