What is Planter fasciitis
Plantar fasciitis is the acute inflammation of the long band of connective tissue which runs from the heel to the forefoot. It helps to support the arch and surrounding muscles in the foot. When there is increased stress on the arch, microscopic tears can occur with the plantar fascia which results in inflammation and pain with standing and walking.
There has been several risk factors identified that can cause plantar fasciitis. These include:
- Limited ankle joint range of motion, increased body weight, poor foot biomechanics i.e. excessive pronation (rolling inwards).
- Traumatic injury affected gait
- Systemic inflammatory conditions i.e. arthritis
- Sometimes a heel spur may be present, however this rarely is the cause of the pain, it is the disruption of the fascial attachment into the spur that causes the pain.
Signs and Symptoms
- Pain on palpation directly on the plantar heel, which can extend into the medial heel and arch
- Increased pain in the mornings getting out of bed, and on standing from sitting
- Pain usually worse in bare feet
Ideally the sooner the plantar fascia is treated when symptoms arise the easier and quicker treatment will be.
Treatment of the plantar fascia can include:
Ice, calf and plantar fascial stretches, orthotics, heel cushions/raises, strapping, Extracorporeal Shockwave therapy, and cortisone injections.
Treatment is very dependent on the site of the plantar fascia pain, activities that the patient does, and how long the patient has had the pain for. Sometimes an ultrasound scan is needed to review the plantar fascia.