The condition known as Plantar Fasciitis is a painful condition affecting the plantar surface (underside) of the heel where the plantar fascia attaches to the medial tubercle of the calcaneus bone (heel bone). It is associated with a structural breakdown or degeneration of the plantar fascia and the most common symptom is pain first steps out of bed in the morning. The actual term for this condition should be referred to as Plantar fasciopathy as there are no actual inflammatory markers associated with the condition. Plantar fasciitis is the term still commonly referred to because it has been around for a long time and there are more people familiar with it.
The most common causes of plantar fasciitis are running training errors (e.g. running too far too soon, in-adequate rest between running sessions), tight weak calf muscles, restricted ankle joint range of movement, over pronation (flattening of the feet while walking or running) and/or wearing non-supportive running, sports, casual and/or work footwear.
Treatment usually initially involves a combination of physical therapy and offloading the structures of the foot and ankle. This can be a combination of soft tissue massage, dry needling, exercise and stretch prescription, home treatment guidance, foot taping, orthotic therapy, heel raises and the appropriate footwear. Addressing whole lower limb issues such as weak glutes and core strength is important to incorporate at the right time during this period.
If pain does not improve using the above standard treatment protocol then we have other avenues we can look into such as shockwave therapy (available at our Bilinga SportsMed Podiatry Clinic) and/or a referral to a Sports Dr for Platelet-Rich-Plasma Injections for example. This can be discussed more with your Podiatrist if required.
For more detail about this condition check out our two blogs links listed below: