Plantar Fasciitis is one of the most common presenting pains in patients’ feet. Pain in the heel or pain in the arch often indicates inflammation of the long band of tissue under the foot called the Plantar Fascia. It can cause sharp pain and discomfort in either the mid arch region or at the inside heel, and less commonly the outside heel. It frequently causes pain upon rising first thing in the morning and can progress throughout the day. Although Plantar Fasciitis is the most common cause of this heel pain, it must be skilfully differentially diagnosed from other conditions via a thorough history taking and physical examination.
Plantar Fasciitis is caused by straining the ligament that supports your arch. Repeated strain can cause tiny tears in the ligament. These can lead to pain and swelling. This is more likely to happen if:
- Feet which roll inward too much when walking, excessive pronation
- Flat feet or High arches
- Walking, standing or running for long periods of time, especially on hard surfaces
- Excessive weight
- Ill-fitting or worn out shoes
- Excessively tight Achilles tendons and / or Calf muscles.
There is no single fix all cure for Plantar Fasciitis. Instead a specific combination of treatments work well in conjunction with each other to heal the injured tissue, these include:
- Rest and avoiding walking or running on hard surfaces.
- Calf, toe and Hamstring stretches
- Footwear modification
- Customised orthotics