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Understanding Plantar Fasciitis

Podiatrist examining foot for Plantar Fasciitis
Podiatrist examining foot for Plantar Fasciitis

Plantar fasciitis is a common and painful foot condition. This blog gives advice on how to recognise the symptoms and what to do if you think you have it. It’s important to recognise and treat this condition to prevent any further problems from occurring.

What is Plantar Fasciitis?

The plantar fascia is a band of tissue or a ligament that connects your heel to your toes and helps support and maintain your foot arch. It absorbs shock and stress that occurs when doing daily activities like walking and standing. If this tissue or ligament is inflamed, it is known as plantar fasciitis.

Who does Plantar Fasciitis affect?

Plantar fasciitis is common in people who:

  • stand for extended periods of time like teachers
  • are obese as more weight is placed on the fascia
  • over-pronate
  • wear worn-out shoes
  • have a high arch
  • are between the ages of 40 and 60 years.

What is the main symptom of Plantar Fasciitis?

Plantar fasciitis mainly presents as a sharp stabbing pain first thing in the morning when taking your first steps. This eventually decreases as you continue to walk but then the pain comes back after periods of rest.

When Plantar Fasciitis won’t go away

If you think you have plantar fasciitis, it is best to seek professional advice as soon as possible. A podiatrist will be able to diagnose if you have plantar fasciitis, and if so, the best treatment strategy to relieve your pain and resolve the condition.

Untreated plantar fasciitis can cause secondary problems. These may include:

  • heel spurs – a calcium deposit that causes a bony protrusion on the underside of the heel bone
  • plantar rupture – a complete tear of the band of tissue/ligament
  • plantar fibromatosis – formation of nodules along the band of tissue.

Treating this condition can help prevent any secondary problems.

How is it diagnosed?

Your podiatrist will assess your symptoms to make a diagnosis. They will examine your foot and palpate the plantar fascia area to find your tender points. The medial insertion of the plantar fascia where it attaches to the heel bone is the most affected area on the foot.

Who should I see if I think I have Plantar Fasciitis?

If you think you may have plantar fasciitis, it’s best to get it checked out by a healthcare professional. A podiatrist will be able to diagnose, treat and prevent the occurrence of this painful condition. 

Should I run with Plantar Fasciitis?

It’s best to avoid running with plantar fasciitis. In fact, it’s best to rest your foot as the pain is a warning that something is not functioning properly.

Can I wear high heels if I have Plantar Fasciitis?

You should avoid shoes that put a lot of pressure on your feet, such as high heels.

Plantar Fasciitis treatment

Treatment of plantar fasciitis will depend on the reason you have it in the first place, how long it’s been a problem and often involves a range of the above to enable you to be pain-free.

The treatments may include:

  • NSAIDS – These are pain relievers that reduce pain and inflammation of the plantar fascia. They can often be cream or gel-based for direct application.
  • Physical therapy – teaches you exercises to help stretch the fascia and ease your pain.
  • Insoles and Orthotics – To redistribute the pressure away from the painful area and support the plantar fascia.
  • Shockwave therapy– delivers high-energy impulses to the affected area. These increase blood flow and stimulate your body’s natural healing process.
  • Injections – Corticosteroids help reduce pain and improve function.

How do Randell’s Footcare podiatrists help?

One of our qualified and experienced podiatrists can help diagnose and treat this condition. They will examine your foot. Palpating areas will allow them to find the tender points. They can then discuss with you the best course of action to treat your plantar fasciitis which may include exercises, changes in footwear, pain relief, orthotics, shockwave therapy, and injections.

Book an appointment

If you are worried about plantar fasciitis, book an appointment with a Randell’s Footcare HCPC-qualified podiatrist by calling 01603 737 188.

Our highly trained reception team offer a free mini-consult to ensure your appointment is with the most appropriate podiatrist for your needs.

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