Heel pain - plantar fasciitis
Chronic plantar heel pain is the generic term to describe a number of conditions that cause pain to the under surface of the heel. The most common cause of pain to this area is a condition called plantar fasciitis, although there are many other potential diagnoses. This blog will help you to determine whether it is plantar fasciitis that you are suffering from, suggest some reasons why it may have occurred and treatment options to improve the condition.
What is the plantar fascia?
It is a band of fibrous tissue that attaches into the under surface of the heel bone and fans out into the arch, under the sole of the foot, and attaches under the base of all the toes. This band is pulled tight when standing and it helps to maintain the arch of the foot and absorb shock when walking and running. When the band becomes damaged, it becomes thickened and painful.
How do you know if you have plantar fasciitis?
The most common area to experience pain with plantar fasciitis is to the inside of the heel where the band of tissue attaches to the heel bone, but pain can be felt anywhere along the sole of the foot. Usually a severe bruised pain is reported that is worst when making the first few steps in the morning. After a short period of walking, the pain often eases, but may reoccur with prolonged activity or high impact activities such as running. Walking bare foot on hard surfaces such as wooden or tiled floors can be painful and wearing particularly flat shoes such a flip-flops may also cause symptoms.
Often tightness to the calf muscles may result in over stretching of the plantar fascia when walking and running and can make someone more susceptible to the condition. A poor foot position when standing or poor biomechanics when walking or running can also be a cause of the condition. People with a very low arch profile are more susceptible to the condition too. A recent increase in weight or activity levels can also be a cause of plantar fasciitis due to increased tension that it is not adapted to cope with.
Heel pain and plantar fasciitis can be complex conditions and without proper treatment can take a long time to heal. Stride podiatry are well experienced in the treatment of conditions such as plantar fasciitis and would be able to provide a personalised treatment plan that will aim to reduce pain, restore functionality and accelerate healing.
Stride Podiatry employ a variety of techniques to treat plantar fasciitis, including:
- stretching and mobility exercises
- gait analysis to determine biomechanical abnormalities
- custom orthotics
- footwear advice
- kinesiology taping
- sports taping
Please get in touch with Stride Podiatry to discuss treatment options.