Plantar fasciitis is a common foot condition that causes pain in the heel and the bottom of the foot. It happens when the band of tissue, called the plantar fascia, that connects your heel to your toes becomes irritated and inflamed.
Plantar fasciitis is quite common. It is one of the most frequent causes of foot pain. It can affect individuals of all ages, but it’s more common in middle-aged and older adults, athletes, and people who spend much time on their feet.
Plantar fasciitis is primarily caused by excessive stress and strain on the plantar fascia, the thick band of tissue that supports the foot arch. Here are some common factors that contribute to the development of plantar fasciitis:
Plantar fasciitis can cause various symptoms, typically centred around the bottom of the foot and the heel. Common signs and symptoms of plantar fasciitis include:
Diagnosing plantar fasciitis typically involves a combination of a medical history review, a physical examination, and, in some cases, imaging studies. Here’s how healthcare professionals diagnose this condition:
Plantar fasciitis, if left untreated or poorly managed, can lead to several complications that may affect your overall foot health and quality of life. Some potential complications include:
Plantar fasciitis can often be effectively managed with conservative treatment options. The choice of treatment depends on the severity of the condition, and most people find relief through a combination of these methods:
Giving your feet time to heal is crucial. Reduce or modify activities that aggravate the condition, especially high-impact activities like running or jumping.
Applying ice to the painful area for 15-20 minutes several times daily can help reduce inflammation and alleviate pain.
Regular stretching of the calf muscles and the Achilles tendon can help relieve tension on the plantar fascia. Simple exercises like calf and toe curls and towel stretches can benefit.
Supportive shoes with good arch support and cushioning are essential. Avoid flat shoes, high heels, and worn-out shoes. Some people benefit from orthotic inserts or custom-made insoles
Wearing a night splint that keeps the foot and ankle dorsiflexed (toes pointed up) can help maintain the length of the plantar fascia and reduce morning pain.
Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), available over-the-counter or prescribed by a doctor, can help reduce pain and inflammation.
A physical therapist can provide exercises, stretches, and techniques to improve foot and calf muscle strength, flexibility, and balance.
Sometimes, a brace or a walking boot may be recommended to limit motion and protect the plantar fascia during healing.
An orthopaedic specialist may recommend corticosteroid injections to reduce inflammation and provide short-term pain relief in cases of severe pain. However, these should be used judiciously due to potential side effects.
Extracorporeal shockwave therapy (ESWT) is a non-invasive procedure that uses sound waves to stimulate healing and reduce pain.
PRP therapy involves injecting a concentrated solution of your blood platelets into the affected area to promote healing.
Surgical intervention is rarely necessary but may be considered in severe, persistent plantar fasciitis that does not respond to other treatments.
Preventing plantar fasciitis is often more effective and less painful than treating it. Here are some strategies to reduce your risk of developing this condition:
Living with plantar fasciitis can be challenging, but with proper management and lifestyle adjustments, you can minimise its impact on your daily life. Here are some tips for living with plantar fasciitis:
Living with plantar fasciitis can be challenging, but taking the right steps can effectively manage this condition and improve your quality of life. Remember, seeking professional advice and not ignoring your health is the key to a successful outcome.
If you’re experiencing symptoms of plantar fasciitis, it’s essential to consult with an orthopaedic specialist. Don’t delay getting the help you need to start your journey toward relief and recovery.
We recommend contacting a trusted orthopaedic specialist like The Orthopaedic Practice and Surgery Clinic to discuss your symptoms, get a proper diagnosis, and create a tailored treatment plan. Your health and well-being are worth the investment, so take that important step and request an appointment with them today. Your feet will thank you for it.