Plantar Fasciitis is thickening of the plantar fascia, a band of tissue running underneath the sole of the foot.
The thickening can be due to recent damage or injury, or can be because of an accumulation of smaller injuries over the years.
Plantar fasciitis can be painful and is more common in woman. You are more likely to have this condition if you are overweight, are on your feet all day, take up a new form of exercise, have other medical conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis or lupus, wear shoes with weak arch supports and thin soles, have flat feet or an unusually high arch.
The symptoms of plantar fasciitis are pain in the bottom of your foot, especially at the front or centre of the heel bone and pain that worsens first thing on rising in the morning, when first standing up after long periods of sitting or after increased levels of activity especially in non supportive shoes.
Plantar Fasciitis is often caused by repetitive excess forces typically walking or standing for long periods. A Podiatrist may be required to analyse the way that you walk and advise on wearing the correct orthotic device given which can alleviate the pain and help support the foot and aid recovery.
A heel spur could also be the cause of heel pain which is related to Plantar fasciitis. This is an inflammation of a bursa (a fluid-filled fibrous sac) under the heel bone where the pain is typically more in the centre of the heel than that experienced with plantar fasciitis and significantly worsens during the day.
Treatment can take many forms, from resting your foot as much as possible, stretching exercises and deep-heat therapy to steroid injections and even medication or surgery to release the tight tissue ‘band’. In the acute stage, use ice compresses for 10 minutes twice a day, and ibuprofen (always check with your GP or pharmacist before taking any new medication). In some cases, padding and strapping is applied to alter the direction of stretch of the ligament to alleviate symptoms in the short term. However, for the long term, special insoles (orthoses) may be prescribed to help the feet to function more effectively and help to make any possible recurrence less likely.
Heel bursitis (calcaneal bursitis):
A shoe insert may be necessary. In addition, attention to the cause of any rubbing and appropriate padding and strapping will allow inflammation to settle.
An assessment will be made and the patient will always be referred on if out of my scope of practice.