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Heel Pain

Plantar Fasciitis

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Plantar Fasciitis

If you are experiencing heel pain, you may be suffering from plantar fasciitis, a common condition that affects millions of people worldwide.

Definition

Plantar fasciitis is more correctly termed plantar fasciopathy.  In medicine 'itis' referrs to inflammation, however there is generally no inflammation with this condition but rather changes to a structure called the plantar fascia.  That is not to say there is no pain, as people with plantar fasciitis can suffer from sharp / stabbing-type pains in the heel, particularly with the first steps in the morning or after periods of rest.

 

What is the plantar fascia?

The plantar fascia is a thick band of tissue that runs along the bottom of the foot, connecting the heel bone to the toes.

 

What are the causes of plantar fasciitis?

Several factors can contribute to the development of plantar fasciitis, including:

  1. Repetitive Strain: Overuse or repetitive strain on the plantar fascia, such as from prolonged standing, walking, running, or high-impact activities.

  2. Foot Mechanics: Abnormalities in foot mechanics, such as high arches, flat feet, or tight calf muscles, can increase the risk of plantar fasciitis. 

  3. Weight gain: Excess body weight puts additional stress on the plantar fascia, increasing the risk of changes within it, and resultant heel pain.

  4. Footwear: This is very commonly associated with flat footwear such as flip-flops in the summer time, wearing shoes with inadequate support, excess cushioning, or sudden changes in footwear.

  5. Age: Plantar fasciitis is more common from our 40's on, although it can affect people of all ages.

How is it treated?

We offer a range of effective treatment options to alleviate the symptoms of plantar fasciitis and promote healing. Treatment may include:

  1. Rest and Ice: Resting the affected foot and applying ice packs to the heel can help reduce pain and inflammation.

  2. Stretching Exercises: Gentle stretching exercises targeting the calf muscles and plantar fascia can help improve flexibility and reduce tension.

  3. Orthotic Devices: Custom, or off-the-shelf orthotic devices or shoe inserts can provide support, cushioning, and alignment to the foot, relieving pressure on the plantar fascia.

  4. Physical Therapy: Our skilled physical therapists can develop a tailored exercise program to strengthen the muscles of the foot and ankle, improve balance, and enhance overall foot function.

  5. Class 4 Medical Laser:  This is a non-invasive procedure with proven efficacy that uses light waves to stimulate healing in the affected tissue and reduce pain.

  6. Podiatric Acupuncture and Dry Needling: We use a combination of Traditional Chinese Acupuncture (TCA) and Western Medical Dry Needling to increase blood flow, and stimulate healing as well as reduce your painful symptoms.

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