Allevio Pain Management sees a number of people with a common condition called plantar fasciitis. Plantar fasciitis has garnered quite a few nicknames (Basketball Heel, Runner’s Heel and Jogger’s Heel to name a few) and is presently becoming better known through its most famous patient: basketball-loving President of the United States, Pres. Barak Obama.
But what is plantar fasciitis? And what can you do to treat it?
Plantar fasciitis is one of the most common causes of foot and heel pain. It’s not the same as a heel spur or flat feet. Plantar fasciitis is an inflammation of the plantar fascia which is the ligament that connects your heel bone to your toes. The fascia acts like a shock absorber for the foot. Overuse can cause the fascia to tear resulting in inflammation and pain.
The pain is typically caused by chronic irritation of the arch of the foot when excessively strained. The most familiar symptom of plantar fasciitis is a stabbing pain felt in the bottom of your foot near the heel. This pain is usually worse with the first few steps in the morning or after long sedentary periods.
Plantar fasciitis is common and treatable in most cases. People who are on their feet for long periods of time (servers, cashiers, athletes, nurses, police, fire, ambulance, military personnel, etc.) are more likely to suffer from plantar fasciitis at some point in their life, and statistics show it tends to affect middle-aged men and women more than any other age group.
How do you know if you have plantar fasciitis? You’re always better off to check with your doctor. Your expert be able to tell by checking pain points in your feet. Once diagnosed, there are a variety of ways to treat the condition.
As with most sites of inflammation, icing and resting the area is important. Treatment will vary depending on the severity of your condition. Your doctor may recommend you see an allied healthcare provider like a physiotherapist, chiropractor or osteopath. The various health practitioners you can see will depend on your condition. The more chronic the plantar fasciitis, the more likely it is you will need multiple treatments.
The healing route you take is ultimately your choice with the end goal of relieving your pain. A physiotherapist, chiropractor and osteopath all provide hands-on evaluation (with a detailed look at your medical history) and a treatment plan to eliminate and prevent future inflammation. Both a physiotherapist and chiropractor can provide laser, shockwave or ultrasound treatments, kinesiotaping, manual adjustment and stretching. Custom orthotics may also be prescribed as a way to correct your foot’s natural posture. An osteopath will assess the interaction of your overall structure and functioning to see if the way you walk/run are having an effect. Treatment may also include some imaging (X-ray, CT) if further intervention is needed.
Lastly, if you suffer from chronic plantar fasciitis and you’ve had little success with various treatments, your doctor may recommend you to see a pain specialist. An anaesthesiologist or physiatrist who specialize in pain management will be able to determine whether certain pain therapies could work in conjunction with physical therapies or alone. Platelet-Rich Plasma therapy (PRP) is one treatment that has been proven to help sufferers of chronic plantar fasciitis. PRP is a therapy that utilizes a patient’s own blood, enriched with platelets to stimulate a healing response within a damaged tissue or joint.
There are several ways to easily prevent plantar fasciitis from happening to you. Make sure you’re always wearing supportive shoes when active or standing for long periods of time. Put some variety into your daily sport or activity. Low impact sports like cycling or swimming will take the pressure off your feet. Simple stretching of your arches and legs will help keep muscles nimble allowing for greater range of motion. Lastly, ask your doctor or treating healthcare practitioner if orthotics are right for you. Wearing orthotics everyday can help support your foot in the right position to prevent plantar fasciitis from coming back.
We like the information in this video for a thorough yet quick look at plantar fasciitis! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YRpeiRLPUDw
The images in this blog post are linked from HeelThatPain: www.heelthatpain.com – while we don’t know and can’t endorse the products, the images are helpful and the admin are nice!