Experiencing pain in your heels? Find out here if it’s the result of plantar fasciitis. Family Podiatry Centre explains the the foot condition.
Plantar fasciitis is one of the most common causes of heel pain. Studies show that as many as 10 per cent of people may suffer from this disorder at some point in their life, and as much as 80 per cent of all heel pain cases may result from it.
It is common in middle-aged people but can also occur in athletes or very active young teenagers, in either or both feet.
While often found in conjunction with heel spurs, the relationship is unclear, and resolving one will not necessarily resolve the other.
What causes plantar fasciitis?
The flat band of ligament (a.k.a. the plantar fascia) connects your heel bone to your toes and supports the arch of your foot. If you strain it, it weakens and will be swollen and inflamed, causing pain in your heel or at the bottom of the foot when you stand or walk.
Some common causes include excessive pronation (when the foot rolls inward when walking or running); naturally occurring high arches or flat feet; long periods of standing, running or walking, especially on hard surfaces; being overweight; wearing shoes that don’t fit or are worn out or having tight Achilles tendons or calf muscles.
How is it diagnosed?
Our podiatrist will diagnose you based on your symptoms as well as through a physical examination where he or she will press on the bottom of your feet. This is the area that will most likely hurt if you are, in fact, suffering from plantar fasciitis.
He or she may suggest that you have an X-ray of your foot to verify that there is no stress fracture causing your pain.
Are there any treatments for this?
No two bodies and no two lifestyles are identical, so why should your treatment be?
Your gait, your occupation, your activities during the day, the progression of the disorder and your foot shape will all be taken into account to determine the optimum course of action.
Surgery may be recommended in severe cases, but the majority of patients respond well to non-surgical intervention.
Custom-made orthotics, special exercises to strengthen surrounding muscles, extracorporeal shockwave therapy (as used in the treatment of osteoarthritis of the knee) and corticosteroid injections have all been successfully deployed in most cases.
This article first appeared in The Finder.