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Heel Pain: Plantar Fasciitis

Heel Pain: Plantar Fasciitis

Do you struggle taking the first few steps in the morning?
Can’t stand on your foot for too long?
You have pain in your arch or heel?

If you answered yes to any of the questions above you may be suffering from a condition called Plantar Fasciitis. You can ice as much as you want, you can change the insoles in your shoes and you can rest as much as you like. The end result is always temporary pain relief.

What is the Plantar Fascia?

The plantar fascia is the part of your foot which touches the ground when you stand. It’s an arch which runs the heel bone to the ball of the foot. The plantar fascia is not a muscle but rather a piece of fibrous tissue that functions to support the arch of the foot.

Do you have Plantar Fasciitis?

A qualified Physiotherapist can correctly diagnose your condition. However, if you have Plantar Fasciitis, you can expect to have some or all of these symptoms:

  • Pain upon waking up
  • Pain on first few steps
  • Pain in the heel
  • Pain at rest, less pain during activity and return with rest
  • Reduced ability to stand on feet due to pain

Factors contributing to Plantar Fasciitis:

  • Age: Plantar Fasciitis is most commonly seen in the adult to elderly population. Increases in prevalence between the ages of 40 and 70. However this is not to say that younger individuals will not get it. Individuals who are inactive and quickly become over active can also develop this condition.
  • Obesity/Weight Gain: Carrying excess body weight or rapidly gaining weight adds considerable load onto the plantar fascia. This can be enough to cause an overload and thus pain.
  • Biomechanical Factors: These are largely out of your control however increased pronation (commonly termed overpronation) causes increased stress on the fascia and its insertion. On the contrary, a very high arch (pes cavus) has also been associated with this condition. Additionally, tightness of the muscles in and around the foot may also contribute to overloading the plantar fascia.
  • Changes in activity: A sudden change in activity, especially those that involve increased weight bearing is strongly correlated to the development of this condition. This could be a seemingly small change such as going from sedentary and working at a desk to walking 3 times per week for 20 minutes. On the opposite end of the scale going from running 3 times per week to running 4-5 times per week could also incite the condition.
  • Footwear: Poorly fitting footwear or shoes that do not have adequate arch support for your foot type may predispose you to the development of this condition.

If you require further guidance on how to manage your symptoms, get in touch with us today.