Heel Pain: Plantar Fasciitis

Plantar Fasciitis-Heard of it? Pleasantly surprising? You are one step closer to knowing what plantar fasciitis is and just how common it is. Around one in ten people get this type of heel pain at least once in their lives. Affecting more women than men usually between the ages of 40-60, but can occur at age. Athletes are prone to attaining this form of heel pain as well as individuals that are overweight. A change in surface and poorly cushioned unsupportive shoes are other factors that lead to plantar fasciitis. Lastly, a tight Achilles tendon can have the same affects as the other factors. Why would a tight Achilles tendon cause for plantar fasciitis? The tendon is responsible for connecting the calf muscles to the heels and its dysfunction decreases foots’ optimum ability to flex.

Right, hopefully you’ve read plantar fasciitis enough times to be able to pronounce it. Plantar is easy but the next part can be pronounced like “fashii-it is”. Perfect. What is plantar fasciitis? It is the inflammation of the tissue band called the plantar fascia. This ligament like structure attaches at the bottom of the heel bone, calcaneus. As it goes up this tissue band separates into strands and attaches to the forefoot in the balls of your feet. The plantar fascia is in motion at all times. Hence long periods of standing, walking and running can damage the tissue.

What types of symptoms are common for plantar fasciitis? Typically the first steps in the morning can be increasingly painful. As the day progresses the pain decreases with gentle exercises. This pain can be described as sharp and tender to touch. This pain can be anywhere on the bottom side of your heel but usually one area can be pin pointed to be the most painful.

What is the treatment for plantar fasciitis? Before receiving treatment, it must be diagnosed first. DG Podiatrist assesses the heel to check for all forms of heel pain. Once established, they’re many treatments for this pathology. Plantar Fasciitis is a self-limiting condition, meaning it tends to go on its own accord but its speed of resolution can be heavily influenced by treatments. Why have treatments if it is likely to go on own accord? The trouble here is no one can predetermine the exact duration of the pain. Some people may experience the pain for a month and others up to two years or more if untreated. Treatments can range from footwear, insoles, ice therapy, exercises, rest, shockwave, steroid injections to surgery. DG Podiatrist will arrange the best plan for your individual needs.