What is Plantar Fasciitis?
Plantar fasciitis is a very common problem and affects a large number of people at some stage of their life.
It is one of the most common sources of foot /heel pain.
Pain under the heel on getting out of bed in the morning. This often then eases with a few steps or after 10-15 minutes of walking.
Pain after walking that gets progressively worse the longer you are on your feet, so by the end of the day they are very painful.
Pain after walking on uneven ground. This can often be experienced after walking on the beach, particularly in the soft sand.
Pain under the heel after sitting at work and when you get up out of the chair in the evening after sitting for a while.
You can also experience pain in the arch of the foot.
It is commonly seen in people who are on their feet constantly with work e.g teachers, cleaners, nurses, or trades people and people who are very active in running or impact sports like jogging or tennis. It can also be caused from poor gait due to other medical issues which cause you to walk abnormally. We are generally designed to be balanced so once we start to limp or rock whilst walking we cause irregular pressure or stress on the feet which can also then lead to plantar fasciitis.
Plantar fasciitis can also be caused by a one off traumatic event where the heel experiences sudden impact.
Plantar fasciitis is very successfully treated using focused soundwaves with ultrasound guidance during treatment, to stimulate a healing response. About 75-80% of patients improve significantly within 10 weeks of treatment, even when all other options have failed.
We usually require an x-ray to have been performed prior to treatment. This is to check that there are no other bony or soft tissue problems that may be causing the pain.
Sources and Related Links
Literally translated it means inflammation of the fascia of the foot.
The plantar fascia is taught fibrous tissue that runs along the bottom of the foot to support the arch. It attaches itself onto the bottom of the heel bone slightly medially (towards the inside edge) of the bone and runs forward towards the toes. It is designed to support the arch of your foot.
The screening X-Ray may show a spur on the bottom of the heel. The spur is not always present with plantar fasciitis. It develops as the end result of the inflammation. It is not the cause of the pain generally.