Plantar Fasciitis is so common, in fact, that it’s estimated 1 in 10 people will experience this condition during their lifetime.

It is THE most common cause of heel pain in adults and, while it often effects middle-aged people and women, adults of all ages deal with the pain and discomfort of Plantar Fasciitis. Fortunately, the right foot care from an expert Podiatrist can relieve the pain associated with Plantar Fasciitis and get you on the fastest road to recovery.

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What Is the Plantar Fascia?

Hint: it's literally the spring in your step.

The Plantar Fascia is a piece of strong ligament that runs along the bottom of the foot, connecting to the heel bone to the toes and helping to create your foot’s distinctive arch. When you put weight on your foot, the arch lowers, stretching the Plantar Fascia, and as your foot pushes off the ground when walking, it shortens and springs back to propel your foot forward (we weren’t kidding when we said it was the spring in your step!).

What Is Plantar Fasciitis?

Plantar Fasciitis is an injury to the Plantar Fascia. As the Plantar Fascia supports the entire weight of your body, during activities, or when extra weight is carried, the force through it can increase dramatically. It can easily become overloaded leading to inflammation, injury and pain.

What are the symptoms of Plantar Fasciitis?

In a nutshell: Heel pain. Heel pain. Heel pain.  

Plantar Fasciitis is the most common cause of heel pain in adults.

The first few steps after resting (either sleeping or sitting down) tend to be the most painful. Pain also occurs with prolonged standing. This pain typically feels as is if you stood on a small stone and bruised your heel. It’s common to feel continued burning, aching, and throbbing in the heel. Some people experience a stabbing pain.

What causes Plantar Fasciitis?

Plantar Fasciitis occurs when overloading the Plantar Fascia causes it to become injured.

This common condition can be experienced by anyone, although the risk is increased by wearing certain shoes, as well as your underlying foot structure (think people with flat feet or high arches).

Many people with Plantar Fasciitis have a heel spur on their Xray. This is a small spike of bone sticking out from the heel bone. Although they are linked to Plantar Fasciitis, it is a common misconception that heel spurs cause heel pain.  

There are three common scenarios during which load is increased on the Plantar Fascia, which can result in the development of Plantar Fasciitis.

Plantar Fasciitis - High level of activity

A High Level Of Activity

Plantar Fasciitis often affects people who are extremely active and spend a lot of time on their feet. This includes people who work in jobs such as nursing, mothers of young children, as well as people who play a lot of sport or run regularly.

Plantar Fasciitis - Recent increase in activity

A Recent Increase In Activity

People who have suddenly increased their activity, are at risk of suddenly overloading their Plantar Fascia. We typically see this with clients who have recently returned to the gym, sports or running, after a break.

Plantar Fasciitis - Carrying more weight

Carrying Extra Weight

Carrying extra weight increased the load on the Plantar Fascia. This includes pregnant women and mums carrying around children, people who lift heavy objects for work, as well as clients who have gained weight.

Will Plantar Fasciitis go away on its own?

Plantar Fasciitis may resolve on its own, but this usually takes around two years. However, for the majority of people, forgoing treatment will lead to increased pain that becomes more difficult to treat, resulting in a lower quality of life and negative state of mind. The constant pain can also restrict you from doing what you love and lead to increased weight gain, as even simple exercises can be painful. Fortunately, there are several simple and inexpensive treatment options that can relieve the pain and help your foot heal quicker.

What To Expect During Your Foot Faults Appointment

You don’t have to live with this sort of pain any longer. At Foot Faults our expert Podiatrists manage cases of Plantar Fasciitis every day. Our detailed examination and computer-aided assessment techniques help us not only diagnose Plantar Fasciitis, but also determine the underlying contributing factors that can then be targeted during treatment.

During your appointment, your Podiatrist will ask detailed information about your pain and typical activity load, assess the painful area of your foot, check the mobility of your foot muscles, test the Plantar Fascia under load and during different exercises, assess how the Plantar Fascia and foot muscles move, and examine the shoes you are wearing.

If applicable, your Podiatrist is also able to refer you for imaging, including X-ray, ultrasound, and MRI, to help confirm your diagnosis. All treatment options are thoroughly explained, including costs and benefits, and you will be involved in developing a personalised treatment plan that works for you and your lifestyle.

Treatments are even commenced during your initial appointment, which means you can leave with reduced pain, as well as a clear plan for treatment over upcoming weeks.

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How is Plantar Fasciitis treated?

At Foot Faults, we typically use a combination of methods from three different treatment types to eradicate your pain and remedy your condition. These includes short term treatments to reduce inflammation and pain, as well as methods to reduce load, and strengthen your foot, which not only treat the Plantar Fasciitis, but aim to prevent it coming back.

For mild cases, treatment can take as little as four weeks. For the majority of clients, it takes an average of 6-12 weeks to be pain free and resume normal activities.

Short Term Treatments

Short-term treatments aim to reduce inflammation, increase mobility, and promote healing. These methods help to reduce pain and recovery time and are best used alongside simple pain relief medication, such as Paracetamol and Ibuprofen. For long-term relief, these techniques must be combined with load reduction and strengthening strategies.

Short-term methods include:

For further information about each treatment option, including useful videos, click on the links above.

Reduce Load

Reducing load is the most important part of Plantar Fasciitis treatment. It is used in the short term to quickly and effectively reduce pain and get you active again. It also prevents the injury from getting worse. Long-term load reduction strategies, such as orthotics, are used along with strengthening and graduated activity to ensure prolonged relief.

Treatments that reduce load include:

For further information about each treatment option, including useful videos, click on the links above.

Strengthening the Foot

Once we have implemented strategies to reduce load, treatment is focused on strengthening the muscles around the Plantar Fascia, which increases its ability to tolerate load.

Interestingly, completely resting and avoiding activity when you have Plantar Fasciitis can actually slow down your recovery. It is important to perform exercises that gradually strengthen the foot and to follow a program that ensures a controlled return to your normal activities. This longer-term rehabilitation strategy also aims to prevent Plantar Fasciitis from coming back.

Treatments that strengthen the foot

For further information about these treatment options click on the links above.

What Is the Best Treatment for Me?

If you are suffering from Plantar Fasciitis, it’s likely you will need a combination of treatments to relieve your pain and keep you on your feet. The best treatments options depend on a number of factors, including your age, activities, job, weight and the severity of your injury.

Ready to start living pain-free? Book your appointment today.

Learn more

Watch our videos about At home treatments

Read about other treatment options

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