Do you have plantar fasciitis and want to learn more about it?
What is plantar fasciitis and how do you treat it?
Plantar fasciitis is one of the most common conditions that causes heel pain and can affect people from all walks of life, from elderly people to athletes. It is caused by chronic overloading of the plantar fascia either from lifestyle or exercise. Other conditions can cause heel pain such as heel spurs, so it’s important to have the correct diagnosis. At The Foot Hub we assess your feet to make sure that the correct diagnosis is made so we can provide the best treatment plan for managing your condition.
Most people who have plantar fasciitis present with pain in the heel when they stand or walk, especially with the first steps in the morning and after periods of rest. There are different stages to plantar fasciitis; acute or chronic. Symptoms can worsen in some people who are unable to bear weight on the affected foot. Treatment can vary for plantar fasciitis; however it’s mostly treated conservatively.
Read on to learn more about plantar fasciitis and all the different treatment solutions available.
what is plantar fasciitis?
Plantar fasciitis is the inflammation of the plantar fascia, a thick band of tissue that extends from the middle of the heel bone, where it then fans out and attaches to the toes. The plantar fascia is an important structure in the foot as it helps develop and reinforce the medial arch. Plantar fasciitis develops when repetitive pressure is applied to the plantar fascia and is overloaded. This results in swelling, tearing or bruising of the plantar fascia.
what causes plantar fasciitis?
The following can cause plantar fasciitis:
risk factor of plantar fasciitis
There are many risk factors that can contribute to plantar fasciitis. Here are a few factors:
symptoms of plantar fasciitis
Plantar fasciitis has the following main presentation:
A stabbing pain in the bottom of your foot near the heel. Pain is often intense with the first steps in the morning or after long periods of standing or rest. Pain can also occur when exercising.
As the condition progresses these symptoms can become more debilitating, reducing the person’s ability to bear weight on the affected foot.
At The Foot Hub our podiatrists will take a thorough patient history and physical examination to assess and diagnose. A typical symptom of plantar fasciitis is pain with the first few steps in the morning, which helps separate it from other causes of heel pain.
A referral for an ultrasound can also assist in assessing the plantar fascia, and your podiatrist may need to refer to an imaging centre. With ultrasound studies, we can assess the thickness and the texture of the plantar fascia. Plantar fasciitis which has only been present for 3 to 6 months will have increased thickening of the plantar fascia with inflammation present.
However, if plantar fasciitis is chronic there will be signs of degeneration such as micro tears and scar tissue in the plantar fascia. Chronic plantar fasciitis is often called plantar fasciopathy, with a pain that does not completely dissipate during the day after taking the first steps.
Not all heel pain is plantar fasciitis.
An assessment with a Podiatrist will help accurately diagnosis the cause and rule out any other conditions.
how can i treat my plantar fasciitis ?
Our feet are very important to us for everyday function. Having plantar fasciitis can deeply impact daily routines, work, sport, and play. But it can be treated with the following:
free exercise guide
Do you have plantar fasciitis?
Download a curated list of plantar fasciitis exercises you can do at home to help reduce your symptoms and get you back doing the things you love doing.
podiatry treatment for plantar fasciitis
At The Foot Hub we lead with a patient-centred approach to treatment. We believe you should be involved at the centre of all decision making to help achieve the best outcomes for your condition.
There are many treatment options for plantar fasciitis and results can vary across patients. Depending on its severity plantar fasciitis can take from 6-18 months to treat. Most patients with plantar fasciitis are able to successfully treat it without surgery.
At our Sydney podiatry clinics, we provide the following treatment for plantar fasciitis:
Here are some common misconceptions we hear at The Foot Hub:
Here’s our answer:
Plantar fasciitis is often confused with or called heel spurs. Both are two very different conditions with different treatments. When dealing with heel pain, it’s important to have the correct diagnosis. Yes, heel spurs can cause heel pain, however, not all heel pain is due to heel spurs.
Here is our answer:
Orthotics help reduce tension and pressure on structures in the feet. Plantar fasciitis is caused by chronic overloading the plantar fascia and using orthotics can help treat the condition. There are numerous treatment options for plantar fasciitis which don’t involve the use of orthotics.
Plantar fasciitis can take up to 3-18 months to treat.
Yes you can get plantar fasciitis on both feet.
The goal of plantar fasciitis treatment is to reduce load and any extra stress to the plantar fascia to help treat it. Initially barefoot walking can exacerbate or be counteractive to treatment.
No it is not. Arthritis is a joint disease, plantar fasciitis can be inflammation or in some cases micro tears of the plantar fascia (soft tissue structure in the foot).
Research has shown a relationship with increased body weight and heel pain, with some evidence showing a reduction in symptoms with weight loss. Usually when you have plantar fasciitis, exercise is an important aspect to achieving weight loss. Consider consulting with a dietitian or taking a simple 4-week health challenge to help loss weight and reduce symptoms of plantar fasciitis.