Plantar Fasciitis

Definition

Plantar Fasciitis is one of the most common causes of heel pain, due to inflammation of the plantar fascia. The plantar fascia ia a band of tissue connecting the heel to the toes.

Causes

  • Planta fasciitis is usually an overuse injury caused by repeated overstretching of the plantar fascia.
  • Occurs more in women than men.
  • More common in those aged over 40.
  • Those who spend long periods on their feet are more likely to develop plantar fasciitis.
  • Being overweight increases risk of plantar fasciitis.
  • Foot shape can effect likelihood of plantar fasciitis. Those with a flatter foot or excessively pronate are more at risk of plantar fasciitis.
  • Extensive running or walking will increase risk of symptoms.
  • Poor shoe support. 
  • Tight Achilles tendon. 
  • A change of training surface can also increase risk of plantar fasciitis.

Symptoms

  • Pain first thing in the morning which eases after a while as tissues warm up and stretch out.
  • Pain in the arch of the foot and heel.
  • Inflammation of the plantar fascia.

Treatment

Plantar fasciitis can be self limiting and will eventually go by itself. However you can help with the treatment process by:

  • Apply the PRICE principle
  • P= Protect by wearing good fitting and supportive footwear.
  • R= Rest as much as possible.
  • I= Ice will help reduce inflammation. Do Not apply ice directly to the skin. Use a tea towel or wrap to avoid skin burns.
  • C= Compression
  • E= Elevation. Wearing a raised heel of approx. 6-10mm may help by relieving a tight Achilles tendon.
  • If appropriate weight loss will also help with symptoms of plantar fasciitis if overweight by reducing strain on the tendons and joints.  

When to see a Podiatrist

If symptoms do not resolve through self care then a Podiatrist can help:

  • Advise on taping methods
  • Prescribe orthotics
  • Recommend a suitable stretching programme
  • Offer shockwave treatment