Plantar Fasciitis

Thursday, 21 September 2017  |  Admin


Plantar Fasciitis is the most common cause of heel pain, accounting for around four out of five cases.
Plantar fasciitis is where the thick band of tissue that connects the heel bone with the rest of the foot (the plantar fascia) becomes damaged and thickened.
Damage to the plantar fascia is thought to occur following:
  • sudden damage – for example, damaging your heel while jogging, running or dancing; this type of damage usually affects younger people who are physically active
  • gradual wear and tear of the tissues that make up the plantar fascia – this usually affects adults who are 40 years of age or over
Plantar fasciitis is the most common cause of heel pain. The plantar fascia is the flat band of tissue (ligament) that connects your heel bone to your toes. It supports the arch of your foot. If you strain your plantar fascia, it gets weak, swollen, and irritated (inflamed).
You're at an increased risk of gradual wear and tear damaging your plantar fasciitis if you:
  • are overweight or obese – if you have a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or over you're considered obese  
  • have a job that involves spending long periods of time standing
  • wear flat-soled shoes – such as sandals or flip flops
Heel pain is a common foot condition. It's usually felt as an intense pain when using the affected heel.
Heel pain usually builds up gradually and gets worse over time. The pain is often severe and occurs when you place weight on your heel.
In most cases, only one heel is affected, although estimates suggest that around a third of people have pain in both heels.
The pain is usually worse first thing in the morning, or when you first take a step after a period of inactivity. Walking usually improves the pain, but it often gets worse again after walking or standing for a long time.
The plantar fascia is a tough and flexible band of tissue that runs under the sole of the foot. It connects the heel bone with the bones of the foot, and acts as a kind of shock absorber to the foot.
Sudden damage, or damage that occurs over many months or years, can cause tiny tears (microtears) to develop inside the tissue of the plantar fascia. This can cause the plantar fascia to thicken, resulting in heel pain.
The surrounding tissue and the heel bone can also sometimes become inflamed.
There are a number of treatments that can help relieve heel pain and speed up your recovery. These include:
  • resting your heel – avoiding walking long distances and standing for long periods
  • regular stretching – stretching your calf muscles and plantar fascia
  • pain relief – using an icepack on the affected heel and taking painkillers
Gel Insoles may help with the pain as these provide extra cushioning.
An alternative to using orthoses is to have your heel strapped with sports strapping tape,  i.e (Hapla Wave) which helps relieve pressure on your heel. The podiatrist can teach you how to apply the tape yourself.
In some cases, night splints can also be useful. Most people sleep with their toes pointing down, which means tissue inside the heel is squeezed together.
Night splints, which look like boots, are designed to keep your toes and feet pointing up while you're asleep. This will stretch both your Achilles tendon and your plantar fascia, which should help speed up your recovery time.
Night splints are usually only available from specialist shops and online retailers.
If treatment hasn't helped relieve your painful symptoms, the Podiatrist  may recommend corticosteroid injections.
Around four out of five cases of heel pain resolve within a year. However, having heel pain for this length of time can often be frustrating and painful.
In about one in 20 cases, the above treatments aren't enough and surgery may be needed to release the plantar fascia. 
Who gets heel pain?
Heel pain is a common foot condition. An estimated one in 10 people will have at least one episode of heel pain at some point in their life.
People who run or jog regularly, and older adults who are 40-60 years of age, are the two main groups affected by heel pain.