Plantar fasciitis, the inflammation of the ligamentous band where it attaches to the heel, is a painful condition that can seriously curtail your ability to move freely and impact your quality of life.
You don’t have to suffer for weeks or even months with this condition. Our specialist team sees plantar fasciitis regularly in our Redcliffe clinic and treats the underlying cause which leads to stress on the plantar facia.
What is plantar fasciitis?
Plantar fasciitis can come from a number of underlying causes. As you can imagine, when the foot is on the ground a tremendous amount of force (the full weight of the body) is concentrated on the plantar fascia. This force stretches the plantar fascia as the arch of the foot tries to flatten from the weight of your body. This is just how the string on a bow is stretched by the force of the bow trying to straighten. This leads to stress on the plantar fascia where it attaches to the heel bone. Small tears of the fascia can result. These tears are normally repaired by the body.
As this process of injury and repair repeats itself over and over again, bone spur (a pointed outgrowth of the bone) sometimes forms as the body's response to try to firmly attach the fascia to the heelbone. This appears on an X-ray of the foot as a heel spur. Bone spurs occur along with plantar fasciitis but they are not the cause of the problem.
As we age, the very important fat pad that makes up the fleshy portion of the heel becomes thinner and degenerates (starts to break down). This can lead to inadequate padding on the heel. With less of a protective pad on the heel, there is a reduced amount of shock absorption. These are additional factors that might lead to plantar fasciitis.
At the Redcliffe heel pain clinic we have a 3 step process to treat the underlying cause of plantar fasciitis:
- Intensive period of focused ligament and muscle therapy
- This may involve: Massage, dry needling, stretching, strengthening, icing, NSAIDs
- Prescribe arch supports to reduce the load on the plantar fascia (if required)
- Restore appropriate functional movement patterns (biomechanics)
- An Exercise Physiologist will take you through a program in our purpose-built strength and conditioning centre to address the underlying cause of your condition and ensure it doesn’t come back again. This is especially helpful when getting our clients back to their sport or work.