Do you wake in the morning with excruciating pain in your heels?
Is there a stabbing sensation for those first few steps after you’ve been sitting down?
Does your heel throb after you have gone for a walk or run?
If you have answered yes to any of these questions, you may be experiencing a very common foot pathology, termed Plantar Fasciitis.
What is plantar fasciitis, you may be wondering? Plantar fasciitis is a painful inflammatory condition where the band of tissue connecting your heel bone to your big toe bone, the plantar fascia, becomes inflamed and painful. The plantar fascia is a thick strong band of connective tissue that creates the arch of the foot, and is the dominant support structure of the foot, actively working whenever you are walking, running or simply standing.
Symptoms of plantar fasciitis include a stabbing or aching pain around the medial or centre of the heel bone. This is experienced generally first thing in the morning, after exercise and for the first few steps after rest. As the severity worsens, this pain can linger and become constant.
So why did I get stuck with this you may be thinking? The main causes for plantar fasciitis includes overuse, overstretching and other medical conditions. Being middle aged, pregnant or overweight, having worn out or unsupportive shoes, being flat footed or having high arches, long hours on your feet or playing sports that puts stress on the heel, all pose an increased risk of developing the condition.
So what can I do about this? The first step is accurate diagnosis. Come in and have a chat to a Podiatrist today who will ask a series of questions and conduct a physical examination. A podiatrist may also refer you for an ultrasound and or x-ray for confirmation of diagnosis and assessment of severity. There are a variety of conditions that cause heel pain so accurate diagnosis is paramount.
Once diagnosed, it is important to commence treatment promptly. Initally, controlling the inflammation is vital, so icing, rest and anti-inflammatories as required. A podiatrist will go through an important stretching regime, which is essential in treatment. Potentially, an adjustment to footwear and training may be prescribed. In addition, if the pathogenesis is biomechanically based, orthotics (customised innersoles) may be prescribed as well. These all work to not only treat the active condition, but prevent future flare ups as well.
Will it just go away if I ignore it? Rarely, the tissue will heal itself, however ignoring the symptoms for too long, you are at risk of further damaging and even tearing the plantar fascia, resulting in months wearing an offloading device or potentially even surgery, so it is so important to start treatment as soon as possible.
If you have any questions or are concerned you may be suffering from plantar fasciitis, call us on 9542 3491 today and book a time to see a Podiatrist today!