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what is plantar fasciitis...and why it is important to see a podiatrist sooner rather than later


Often as a podiatrist, I will hear a patient mention they have plantar fasciitis when they have heel pain. Let's clear a few things up first. There are many causes of heel pain such as plantar fasciitis, baxter's nerve entrapment, fat pad atrophy, calcaneal fracture, bone bruising just to name a few. For the purpose of this blog, I will be using plantar fasciitis due to its frequency seen in the clinic.


Source: https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/plantar-fasciitis-massage

What is plantar fasciitis


Some studies suggest heel pain accounts for roughly 10% of the population visiting podiatrists with plantar fasciitis being the primary diagnoses. Plantar fasciitis is characterised by degeneration of the plantar fascia. It is believed to occur from mechanical injury in which excessive tensile strain within the plantar fascia produces microscopic tears leading to degeneration of the fascia.

Source: https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/plantar-fasciitis/symptoms-causes/syc-20354846


How does this happen?


There are multiple reasons plantar fasciitis occurs and is usually a combination of one, two or multiple reasons that contribute to this.

https://redmountainfootcare.com/flat-feet/flat-feet-symptoms-treatments-more/

  • Foot structure (flat foot can predispose you)

  • Reduction in ankle and big toe joint range of motion and this places mechanical stress on the plantar fascia

  • Increased body weight

  • Sudden exercise increases mechanical strain

  • Doing too much exercise or not enough rest between exercise

  • Occupation (standing long periods in work)

  • Incorrect footwear

  • Poor foot mechanics - excessive foot pronation





Symptoms of plantar fasciitis

  • First steps in the morning typify classic plantar fasciitis pain

  • Throughout the day it seems to warm up and be okay, then when rest pain returns

  • Sometimes, you may experience pain the longer you weight bear

  • May have a sharp shooting, burning sensation around the heel and up the inside of the heel region

Does plantar fasciitis resolve quickly?

Typically, we see in the clinic resolution of plantar fasciitis anywhere from a few weeks to a few months with some regular weekly appointments and comprehensive management plan catered to an individuals lifestyle. Listed below, are our common methods.

  • Shockwave therapy

  • High level & low level laser therapy

  • Ultrasound therapy

  • Activity modification

  • Footwear modification

  • Orthotic therapy

  • Stretching/strengthening exercise and rehab program

However, sometimes this does not resolve the problem and more invasive options may be needed such as prolotherapy injections or surgery.



What happens if I leave my plantar fasciitis too long

Due to its degenerative nature at the heel bone attachment, if left untreated for 6 months plus it starts to develop a self perpetuating cycle of further degeneration throughout the tissue and spreads to the surrounding tissue. Thus making the job of reducing symptoms take longer and potentially reducing the efficacy of the above mentioned therapies.



Luckily here at Foot Body Sole we have access to regenerative therapies and if want to find out more about plantar fasciitis or you have been wanting to seek help, please don't hesitate to contact us at info@footbodysole.com.au or 8648 7678 or come in store to chat to our friendly staff.









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