Plantar Fasciitis – Symptoms and Treatment
Your feet are one of the most important parts of your body in maintaining an active lifestyle, which is why we need to take care of them effectively. Heel pain is a familiar sensation we’re all bound to experience at some point. Amongst this, is what’s called plantar fasciitis – it’s not as absurd as it sounds and it’s actually extremely common. So how do you know if the heel pain you’re experiencing is plantar fasciitis?
Read on to discover symptoms, causes and treatment methods for this condition, and get in touch with us at 13th Beach health Services for a consultation.
Symptoms of Plantar Fasciitis
Plantar Fasciitis is a degenerative condition that weakens part of the foot called the plantar fascia, as a result of repeated trauma. The body eventually loses the ability to heal due to the frequency of this trauma which in turn can unfortunately lead to a chronic state of pain. This part of your foot generally acts like a shock absorbing bowstring that supports the arch. One of its main roles is to keep the bones and joints in position, which enables us to push off the ground. However, degeneration occurs when there is too much pressure, which after continual irritation results in plantar fasciitis.
Symptoms can often include:
- An aching or burning sensation
- Sharp or dull pain at the bottom of the heel
- Mild swelling of the heel
- Worsened pain after prolonged periods of sitting or standing
- Significant pain within the first steps of waking as well as climbing stairs
- Heel pain after (rather than during) exercise
Causes of Plantar Fasciitis
Whilst anyone can experience plantar fasciitis, individuals who have inadequate shoe support, are overweight, or athletic runners are at greater risk of developing the condition. Whilst plantar fasciitis is most common in 40-60 year old’s, certain types of sports that put a lot of strain on this part of the foot can contribute to early onset of the condition.
However, genetics do also have a part to play, as being flat footed or having an abnormally high arch will impact the way your weight is distributed. Similarly, pregnancy can increase chances of this with weight gain, swelling and hormonal changes impacting the feet. Individuals with occupations that involve being on their feet a lot are also more at risk to this condition.
Although you’d often expect to visit a podiatrist for plantar fasciitis, the condition is actually treated across a number of allied health modalities.
Treatment may involve a variety of different techniques, including but not limited to:
- Orthotics: may be off the shelf or custom designed to distribute weight better
- Taping: to minimise pain and improve posture
- Night splints: holds the plantar fascia in a lengthened position overnight
- Changing footwear: your health professional will help you assess the best footwear for your foot shape
- Professional based therapy: dry needling, myofascial release work etc.
- Medication/injections or surgery: only in severe cases when previous methods have shown no improvement
All of our practitioners at 13th Beach Health Services are able to provide treatment for plantar fasciitis, including osteo, physio, podiatrists, remedial massage and myotherapy. Get in touch with us to discuss a professional that’s best for you.
Plantar Fasciitis Prevention Strategies
Like most ailments, prevention and education is always the best strategy for dealing with this condition. If you’re at increased risk of plantar fasciitis, you may want to consider ways to decrease this. Here are some prevention and minimisation strategies to adopt if you are suffering from heal pain:
- Maintain a healthy weight: this will decrease your predisposition to plantar fasciitis
- Avoid walking barefoot on hard surfaces
- Wear shoes with optimal support: this will prevent damage and encourage support
- Keep your bed sheets loose: tucking your bedsheets tightly can actually cause strain on your feet whilst you sleep
- Starting activity slowly: warm up to avoid strain
- Be mindful in sports and exercise: stretch before starting and avoid safety hazards
Book a Consultation for Your Heel Health
An official diagnosis for your heel pain may sound daunting, however seeking the advice of a professional will have you back on your feet in no time. If you’re suffering from pain it’s best to get health advice as soon as possible to encourage a swift recovery. Contact us at 13th Beach to discuss which approach will be best for you.