Plantar Fasciitis is an overuse of the ligament at the bottom of the arch of the foot which causes pain at the bottom of the foot and heel. Plantar fasciitis can also be known as a “heel spur” although they are not always the same. A heel spur is a bony growth that occurs at the attachment of the plantar fascia to the heel bone (calcaneus). While a heel spur can occur (with repetitive pulling of the plantar fascia) on a foot with no symptoms at all, a painful heel can also have no heel spur present.
Plantar fasciitis or heel spurs are commonly found in people who participate in sports which involve running or jumping. Runners who over-pronate their feet or have tight calf muscles are at risk as the biomechanics causes additional stretching of the plantar fascia.
The pain is usually localised to the bottom of the heel and foot.
Pain is usually worst first thing in the morning. After a few minutes it eases as the foot gets warmed up, but it can worsen during the day with prolonged walking.
Rest from excessive activities until it is not painful. It can be very difficult to rest the feet as most people will be standing or walking during the day for work. By walking on the painful foot you may continue to aggravate the injury.
Apply ice or cold therapy to help reduce pain and inflammation.
Our doctors are able to prescribe pain or anti-inflammatory medication for temporary relief. We are also able to provide a corticosteroid injection to the plantar fascia. However, there may be the side-effect of increased risk of plantar fascia tears with physical activity and of heel fat pad atrophy. An orthotic insole can help to restore normal foot biomechanics and reduce over-pronation. Sports physiotherapy techniques can also help you to learn exercises and stretches to reduce the tension in the plantar fascia.
Additionally, Extra-corporeal Shock Wave Therapy (ESWT) can help stimulate the healing process at the insertion of the plantar fascia. Another option we offer would be Autologous Conditioned Plasma (ACP).
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