Heel Pain? Is it plantar Fasciitis?

Do you suffer from heel pain? you may have plantar fasciitis.

Plantar fasciitis affects a long structure under the foot. This fascial structure offers strength to the foot and is responsible for supporting the arch while also connecting the toes to the heel. The plantar fascia is responsible for the absorption of the extreme pressures placed through our feet. Irritation can occur in this thick fascia leading to inflammation. Patients generally report stabbing pains around the bottom of the heel. further excessive pressure/exercise/load can cause tearing or rupture.

Plantar fasciitis is considered the most common cause of heel pain and there are approximately 2 million cases treated each year.

Risk Factors

  • Common in adults aged 40 to 70
  • Excessive physical active (long distance runners, and dancers)
  • Occupations requiring long periods of standing and physical labour (Factory workers and construction workers)
  • High arches or extremely flat feet
  • More common in women than men
  • Pregnancy
  • Taken on a new activity or increasing a workout/exercise too quickly
  • Tight calf muscles also places a patient at greater risk as it contributes to by making it difficult to flex your toes upward

 

Signs and Symptoms

  • Pain in the heel
  • Sometimes inflammation
  • Pain worse when first getting out of bed in the morning and after periods of rest.

 

Diagnosis

Diagnosis of the condition starts with a physical examination at which point the Podiatrist’s at TFC Podiatry Point Cook will check your feet to determine the location of pain. They will look for tenderness, swelling and discoloration.
TFC Podiatry Point Cook Podiatrists may want to evaluate your balance, coordination, muscle tone, flexibility, biomechanics and foot posture. If they think the reason behind the pain could be from something other than plantar fasciitis, they may then send for imaging.

Imaging

  • MRI (Magnetic resonance imaging)
  • Ultrasound
  • X-ray

Non-Surgical Treatments

The good news is that as many as 90 percent of people suffering from plantar fasciitis can improve in
less than one year. By following a few simple non-surgical treatment methods, many see results quickly.

  • Avoid activities that put added stress on the foot such as running and jumping. If you work on a hard surface, try
    standing on a rubber mat to reduce the stress on the bottom of your feet
  • Using ice can help relieve pain and inflammation associated with the condition in acute phases. Chill or freeze a water bottle and roll it under your foot 3 to 4 times a day for 20 minutes. Heat is a better option for long standing plantar fasciitis. heat packs and massage can be helpful for this
  • Utilizing nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs can help relieve the inflammation that causes pain in the short term
  • Stretching can help to relieve tight muscles in the feet and calves. Regular stretching is a good way
    to relieve pain and offload stressed tissue
  • Massage
  • physical therapy
  • supportive shoes¬† and
  • Custom foot orthotics
  • Extracorporeal shock wave therapy

Our Podiatry team at TFC Podiatry Point Cook can help guide and implement these processes to aid in a speedy recovery.

 

Extracorporeal shock wave therapy, injections and surgery

  • Extracorporeal shock wave therapy at TFC Podiatry Point Cook is a great adjudicative therapy that can help speed up recovery.
  • Injection of steroid medications may be considered if conservative therapies are not working.
  • Surgery is the final resort if all other conservative therapies fail. There are always risks with surgery that need to be considered before taking this route.

 

Recovery and Prevention

Properly fitting shoes with good support, effective weight/load management and regular stretching will help
in both recover/prevention of plantar fasciitis.