Also called policeman’s heel, plantar fasciitis (planta is Latin for ‘foot sole’ and fascia is Latin for ‘band’) is an inflammation of a thick band of tissue that connects the heel bone to the toes. It is a common cause of heel pain and affects patients with both active and sedentary lifestyles. Find out more about its causes, symptoms and treatment below.
The most common causes of planta fasciitis are the following:
- Playing sports that place high levels of stress on your heel bone (e.g. running, dancing & aerobics)
- Spending a lot of time on your feet
- Wearing shoes with poor arch support or stiff soles
- Being flat-footed or having high arches
- Being overweight
- Being middle-aged or older
Please note that every patient is different so symptoms can vary. You may experience a combination of the following or just one:
- Feeling pain under your heal (can be sharp or dull)
- A stabbing pain near the heel
- Slightly swollen heel
- Aching or burning under the sole of your foot
- Increased pain in the morning (due to prolonged standing, sitting or intense activity)
Thankfully most patients who have plantar fasciitis recover with simple treatments like resting, reducing high impact activity, applying a cold pack to the area and taking pain relief medication. Where symptoms continue, the following treatment options are available.
Our physiotherapists will access you and determine the best treatment plan for you which might include:
- A targeted exercise program
- Night splits
- Orthotics (arch support)
- Injecting steroid medication
- Extracorporeal shock wave therapy
You can mitigate or reduce the pain of plantar fasciitis at home with these self-care tips:
- Choose supportive shoes
- Avoid high heels and worn out athletic shoes
- Maintain a healthy body weight
- Warm up properly before exercise, activity or sport
- Stretch your arches on a regular basis
- Choose a low impact sport like swimming or cycling instead of running or jogging
This is only ever done in very rare cases where pain is very severe, and all other options have failed.
The recovery time from plantar fasciitis depend entirely on the extent of your injury and overall general health. Most patients recover within days for light injuries and those with severe injuries take a couple of months to fully heal.
If you suspect you might be suffering from plantar fasciitis or just want to have your foot checked out, our team of physiotherapists will assess, diagnose and set up a treatment plan. Contact us today or make a booking here.
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