Plantar Fasciitis Treatment
What Is Plantar Fasciitis?
Plantar Fasciitis is a very common heel pain condition, which involves the inflammation of a thick band of tissue called the Plantar Fascia that connects the heel bone to your toes.
The inflammation results in a stabbing pain that is often experienced first thing in the morning or after periods of rest. It can settle throughout the day, but sometimes may return after prolonged standing and/or walking. The pain generally occurs after activity as the fascia cools down, but not during exercise.
What Causes Plantar Fasciitis?
The Plantar Fascia acts like a shock absorber for your foot and can become less flexible as we age. Our feet evolved to adapt to terrain changes, but in the modern world we have smoothed everything out to generally be flat.
The result is that the Plantar Fascia performs repetitive actions over & over again, which can result in over-tightness of the fascia and sometimes even micro-tears may occur.
While it is sometimes difficult to identify the precise cause of Plantar Fasciitis there are common risk factors. These include -:
- Some forms of exercise including prolonged walking on hard, man-made surfaces, distance running, ballet dancing and aerobics.
- People between the ages of 35 to 70.
- Excess weight.
- Individual foot mechanics. Flat feet, high arches and abnormal walking patterns can all affect weight distribution and putt stress on your Plantar Fascia.
- Workplace occupations that keep workers on their feet can contribute to the onset of Plantar Fasciitis.
- Occupations such as factory workers, nurses and teachers are occupations that can contribute to the condition.
Plantar Fasciitis Treatment
While rest and pain relief medication can help alleviate the pain, some form of treatment may be necessary to get permanent relief.
Some common treatments of Plantar Fasciitis include;
A home treatment program – A series of exercises can be formulated to stretch the Plantar Fascia, calf muscles & Achilles tendon as well as strengthen those muscles to cope better in the modern world.
Additionally, you can massage the Plantar Fascia with anti-inflammatory gel and roll your foot on a ball or ice filled bottle.
Plantar Fasciitis Orthotics – Please note that orthotics (whether they be custom-made or pre-made) are not always beneficial in treating plantar fasciitis. However, if the foot mechanics are excessively pronated and orthotics are indicated, they support the Plantar Fascia, thus evenly spread the load and reduce the strain on heel where the fascia starts.
- A Sports Podiatrist can assess your foot mechanics and advise if they are needed and which type of orthotic would have the best chance of success – pre-made or custom-made.
- Our experience Sports Podiatry team regularly use pre-made orthotics that are a fraction of the cost of custom-made orthotics, so you can rest assured that we don’t always jump to the most expensive option first.
- In the event that custom-made orthotic treatment is needed, all review consultations for the first 12 months are GAP FREE and our custom-made orthotics have a 4 year structural guarantee.
Footwear – The shoes you wear play a big factor Plantar Fasciitis and other conditions. Be wary of overly flexible shoes that are very soft when you first try them on at the shoe store. If they are soft when brand new, they will not provide any long-term support after a month or two.
One of our favourite phrases when looking for shoes is “Structured Cushioning” – shoes should have some structure, but cushion you from the modern concrete world.
If you feel that you have Plantar Fasciitis and could do with a thorough assessment by a Sydney sports podiatry team member, you can either book online on any of our website pages or call on 1300 1 2 FEET (3338).
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