Need Treatment for Plantar Fasciitis in Sutherland?

About Plantar Fasciitis

When you wake up in the morning, do you dread that first few steps to bathroom, because of heel pain? Or do you find that after sitting for a while, when you stand up the stabbing pain returns?

You are not alone. You may have a foot condition called ‘Plantar Fasciitis’.

So what is Plantar fasciitis?

It is an inflammation of the ‘Plantar fascia’. The plantar fascia is a very thick fibrous material that inserts into your heel, and branches out to your five toes.  It is responsible for helping hold up your arch, and absorbing shock when you hit the ground when you walk.

How Do You Get Plantar Fasciitis?

Common contributors to this condition include: progressive flattening of the arches over time (primary reason); lack of flexibility in the calf muscles; changes in activity levels; overuse; and weight gain. When your arch drops, the plantar fascia begins to tear away from its insertion at your heel. When this happens over a long period of time, it causes microtears in the fascia and this can become chronic and the body cannot repair itself.

So Who Gets Plantar Fasciitis?

Plantar fasciitis is one of the most common conditions we treat at our clinic.  It was a problem that was exclusive to overweight middle aged people, but we are now seeing it occur in all age groups. We see it  commonly  in several sub-groups of people, including runners and other athletes, people who have jobs that require a fair amount of walking or standing (especially if it is done on a hard surface), and in some cases it is seen in people who have put on weight – like in pregnancy.

One disturbing fact about plantar fasciitis is that it can sometimes take many months to resolve.  It takes approximately 6 months for 75% of people to recover from this problem. Approximately 98% of people seem to be better at 12 months.

How is Plantar Fasciitis treated?

There are two main concepts in the treatment of plantar fasciitis:
1) the decrease of inflammation
2) addressing the cause of the condition.

  • Stretching and Exercise: Stretching exercises are aimed at lengthening the plantar fascia in an attempt to lessen the pull on your heel. Increasing the length of the calf muscles is a very important part of any treatment. Tightness in this muscle group can cause excess pronation (arch drop), which may contribute to plantar fasciitis.
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents: These may include ice and oral anti-inflammatory medications. These may provide some temporary relief from the pain of inflammation,
  • Night Splints: A device worn at night to prevent contraction of the plantar fascia and to maintain calf flexibility. These will usually lessen the“first step in the morning” pain and relieve symptoms temporarily. They can be uncomfortable to wear for some, but generally provide some relief.
  • Corticosteroid Injections: This involves the injection of a steroid directly into the heel and site of inflammation. This is usually very painful and only used for difficult cases, this may provide more relief than oral anti-inflammatory medications.
  • Foot Orthotics: The right custom orthotics are often the best defense in the prevention of plantar fasciitis and the most reliable long-term cure for existing conditions. A restored arch significantly reduces the daily pull on the plantar fascia by relaxing the ‘bowstring” function of the fascia. It is the only practical way to address both the symptoms AND the cause of your problem.
  • Shockwave Therapy: This revolutionary treatment is only a recent addition to our practice, we are getting incredible results with people who have had plantar fasciitis for over 6 months. It is now seen as the gold standard in care for chronic conditions.