We rely on our feet more than we would like to admit and it feels horrible waking up in the morning with pain in your feet. Here we talk about Plantar Fasciitis – what it is, why you get it, what you can do to prevent it – and most importantly, what you can do to treat it. Ready to be pain free? Keep reading...
Plantar fasciitis is also known as Plantar fasciopathy in some medical circles and simply Jogger’s heel in colloquial terms. It is a commonly occurring at the side of attachment of ligaments and muscle tendons to bones or joints – here we are talking about the heel specifically because enthesopathies can occur in other places where we have joints. The most common symptoms of Plantar fasciitis are fibrosis, inflammation or the deterioration of the structure of the plantar fascia of the foot. This is most regularly occurring injury of the plantar fascia and most common cause of heel pain.
Athletes are most susceptible to plantar fasciitis but it is also a common occurrence in people who are on their feet a lot of the time as a result of their form of employment – think of waiters and cashiers. They are always on their feet. As many as 10% of the population has some form of plantar fasciitis. One of the most commonly complained about symptom amongst sufferers is heel pain so if you have been experiencing pain in your heels, then you probably have plantar fasciitis. It becomes extremely bad during walking and while running making it an extremely disconcerting problem if you rely on your feet to work or have a love of running. You might not be able to go to the next marathon if things do not get better after all.
For most people, the best and easiest way to get over plantar fasciitis is through a little bit of rest and put their feet up. However, it is very important to treat plantar fasciitis as soon as possible – if it is left untreated, the situation worsens and may get to the point where surgery is needed. Thankfully, there are some in-between things you can do to treat plantar fasciitis so you do not have to go in for an expensive surgery. If you have chronic plantar fasciitis, you will need to go to a podiatrist or a foot doctor as most general practitioners are unable to treat it – they may also be unwilling.
Remember – you do not have to get to the point of needing surgery – as much as 90% of people with plantar fasciitis can be treated and healed within six months with conservative treatment methods. It will take a year at best before you are running the next marathon pain free. Apart from rest, you should consider heat, ice, techniques which strengthen your plantar fascia, techniques which strengthen your calves and Achilles tendons. Medication which does not contain steroids (think of aspirin and ibuprofen) are also thought of as first line treatments for plantar fasciitis. If a patient is overweight or obese (they too often have plantar fasciitis) then the first thing a doctor will do is put the patient on a strict diet in order to reduce the patient’s weight (thus solving a lot of problems).
Recently, extracorporeal shockwave therapy has been proven to be an effective treatment for plantar fasciitis which has not responded to minor surgery. Corticosteroid injections are also a proven method. A lot of pain relieved through these injections so it is worth considering.
Not everyone is comfortable with the idea of shock therapy or injections – especially if it can be avoided. If this sounds like you, then you can relax – no shocks, surgery, or injections needed here. One of the most popular alternatives to the methods mentioned above is through the use of custom made orthotic devices. Here, the best in the industry is made by Footlogics – a range of orthotic devices which were developed by podiatrists in Australia. It is not like having to buy a new shoe that you need to wear every day. Rather, all you need to do is to put the orthotic device into your shoe and you are good to go – in comfort of course. They have a wide range of styles and you will be able to walk comfortably in everything from your favourite pair of heels to your running shoes – that marathon is just around the corner after all!
If your feet are giving you pain with every first step then you should fill in the given form and let us relieve you of your pain!
Dr Robinson Taylor Health Clinic, 64 Market Place, Heckmondwike, West Yorkshire, WF16 0HX.
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