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Plantar fasciitis treatment

Plantar fasciitis treatment

Heel pain is common and results in millions of GP appointments worldwide. Symptoms can be seen in all types of people, both the sedentary and overweight, as well as the fit and active. The symptoms are often persistent and can result in a significant impact on your quality of life.

At Schoen Clinic, we offer you rapid diagnosis and the latest evidence-based care to relieve heel pain and restore your mobility.

What is plantar fascia?

Plantar fascia is a thick ligament that is attached to the bottom of the heel bone (calcaneus) and connects this to the ball of the foot. Its function is to help with the propulsion of the foot through a windlass action across the arch of the foot.

Symptoms indicating plantar fasciitis

Heel pain on weight-bearing is the main symptom. The location of the pain may vary slightly between individuals but typically the origin of the plantar fascia on the inner aspect of the bottom of the heel bone is the focus of the pain. Pain is typically worse after a period of rest and disuse. Typically, the first few steps out of bed in the mornings can be the worst, this is because the calf muscle tightens up when resting, so it may take a little while for things to stretch out in the morning. Swelling may occur but this would be an unusual symptom, and if there is significant swelling then an alternative diagnosis may be the culprit. Whatever the condition,  our specialists will determine the cause via an accurate diagnosis.

Plantar fasciitis: the most common cause of heel pain

There are a number of risk factors for the development of the condition. The most important predisposing factor is having tight calves. It is also seen in those with very high or even very low arches. Overuse activities such as running or occupations that involve prolonged standing or walking are also known to predispose you to the condition. Having a high body mass index has also been linked to developing the condition. Occasionally the symptoms can start after a single traumatic event such as a fall from height.

Diagnosis: X-rays may be recommeended to check for heel spurs

Heel spurs are bony calcium deposits underneath the heel bone and close to the origin of the plantar fascia. There has been much debate as to the relevance of these in relation to plantar fasciitis. What is clear, however, is that there are many people with heel spurs who have no pain, and many with pain but no heel spurs. Removal of heel spurs, therefore, is not recommended in the treatment of heel pain.