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Plantar Fasciitis: Everything You Need To Know
Are you experiencing an uncomfortable pain at the bottom of your foot, around your heel or arch? If so, you could be suffering from Plantar Fasciitis.
What is Plantar Fasciitis?
Plantar Fasciitis is the most common cause of heel pain. In fact, it accounts for approximately 80% of cases. Plantar Fascia is known as a tough and flexible band of tissue that occurs under the sole of the foot. It joins the heel bone with the rest of the bones in the foot, acting as a shock absorber. Plantar Fasciitis is when the plantar fascia becomes inflamed, causing intense pain and discomfort.
When can it occur?
Plantar Fasciitis can occur suddenly over just several months, or gradually over a number of years. The pain is often at its worst during your first few steps in the morning, but it can also be triggered by long periods of standing.
What causes Plantar Fasciitis?
There are various different risk factors that can increase your chances of developing the condition. These include:
- Age – It is most common to develop between the ages of 40 and 60.
- Obesity – excess weight will put additional stress on your plantar fascia.
- Some types of exercise - certain activities can put a lot of strain on your heel such as long-distance running and ballet.
- Being on your feet all day- if you have a job that involves standing on your feet for a large proportion of the day, you are more likely to develop the condition.
- Foot mechanics – if you’re flat-footed or have a high arch in your foot, this can affect the way weight is distributed on your feet, leading to a potential risk of plantar fasciitis.
What are the symptoms?
Recognising the signs is the first step to getting the right treatment. These are the key symptoms to look out for:
- Intense pain in the heel and/or arch
- Experiencing pain in your foot, either in the morning or after long periods of rest
If you think you might be suffering from plantar fasciitis, then it is advisable that you get it checked out by a professional. They can offer you a proper diagnosis and the most suitable treatment. Our highly-qualified podiatrists at our Shuropody Foot Clinics will provide professional advice and analysis. You can book an appointment online today.
How is it treated?
There are several ways of treating plantar fasciitis that will reduce pain and promote healing.
- Supportive footwear – wearing high-quality shoes that offer efficient support will not only reduce pain, but they’ll prevent the condition from getting worse. We offer a wide range of comfortable footwear at Shuropody that would be ideal for plantar fasciitis suffers.
- Orthotics – good quality orthotics will reduce the pressure on your foot, leading to decreased discomfort.
- Heel pads – similarly to orthotics, these can be placed inside your shoes to cushion the area and to help relieve pain.
- Avoid high-impact sports – Walking and jogging can put a lot of strain of your feet. Instead, try something more low-impact such as swimming or cycling.
- Exercises- there are certain exercises that can help soothe heel pain. These include stretching your plantar fascia by either:
- Rolling your foot against a bottle (or something similar) whilst sitting down.
- Stretching your big toe using your hand.
- Folding a towel and holding it each end, place the towel under the arches of your feet. Then, gently pull the tops of your feet towards you.
Most people recover from treatment within 6 months, if done correctly and consistently.
Where can I go for advice and diagnosis?
Our experienced podiatrists at our Shuropody Foot Clinics will help you get the correct diagnosis and treatment. We have 43 clinic locations across the UK, find your nearest one here.
What products would our qualified podiatrists recommend?
Place these inside your shoes to offer excellent support and cushioning. This will maximise comfort whilst you walk. Endurance is a full-length orthotic especially designed for people who are on their feet all day. The shell of these insoles is more rigid, giving added control to the joints, as well as preventing muscle fatigue in the lower limbs. This makes them perfect for the treatment of plantar fasciitis.
Insert these into your shoes to provide additional cushioning and protection to your heel. By cushioning the heel and diffusing shock, this will not only help soothe pain but also prevent plantar fasciitis from occurring. The anti-friction top cover also protects the skin from high shearing forces.
You can view all our orthotics here.