Each week here at foot solutions we will have multiple patients coming in to our clinics complaining of heel pain. It is for this reason that we have decided to dedicate this week’s blog to the most common cause of heel pain: plantar fasciitis! Don’t worry it is not as scary as it sounds and we have multiple treatment options available for you if you are unlucky enough to suffer from this painful condition. Firstly let us look at the name; your plantar fascia is a thick fibrous band of soft tissue which is responsible for holding your arch in position. ‘Itis’ just means inflammation therefore Plantar Fasciitis in simple terms is inflammation of the plantar fascia.
The plantar fascia is a very important part of the foot and its contribution is imperative during the propulsive phase of gait i.e. when your toe comes off the ground. The fascia plays a very dynamic role during this phase of walking and running therefore making it more susceptible to overuse injuries.
Plantar fasciitis can affect people in different ways but generally we find our patients complain of pain in the morning when they first step out of bed and/or during a prolonged period of standing/activity.
There are multiple different reasons for a person to develop this condition and it is your podiatrists responsibility to find out why you are getting heel pain. This will be the aim of your initial consultation as at foot solutions we act to treat the cause of pain rather than just symptomatic, short term relief. Although sometimes short term instant relief is beneficial if you are in a lot of pain and it is affecting your quality of life. Some of the treatment options that are available here at Foot Solutions are explained below.
Low dye strapping
Strapping can be used as a short term solution to support the arch of your foot. It acts to stabilise your foot in position and therefore helps to reduce the painful strain on your plantar fascia.
Oral anti-inflammatory drugs
Over the counter non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medication can also be beneficial to those patients suffering from acute pain. These medications reduce chemical signals that cause pain and inflammation in the body, specifically at the injuredarea. You may want to seek further advice from your pharmacist to discuss the most appropriate medication for yourself.
Your podiatrist is likely to provide you with a personal stretching/training program subject to the results of your initial consultation. Tight calf muscles are known to be a risk factor in the development of plantar fasciitis due to the continuity of connective tissue between the Achilles tendon and the plantar fascia.
The prescription of custom made orthotics is frequently incorporated in to our patient specific treatment plans. You will be given a full biomechanical assessment where your podiatrist will review any abnormalities in your gait pattern. They will then manufacture a customised orthotic device to manipulate the stresses on your plantar fascia during walking. Here at foot solutions we also provide you with a comfortable and supportive shoe to help you break in your orthotic.
Each treatment plan is catered to the patients’ individual needs and is therefore subject to change. So do not suffer with painful heels any longer book your appointment here at foot solutions today for your personal biomechanical analysis.