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Plantar Fasciitis – the cause of heel pain in adults

Do you suffer with sharp pain in the heel first thing getting out of bed? Soreness and dull ache under the arch throughout the day?

Does this sound like you? Heel pain or medically speaking Plantar Fasciitis is a very common complaint mainly under the base of the foot and is experienced by thousands of Australians each day.

So What is Plantar Fasciitis?

Plantar Fasciitis is the Latin term for “inflammation of the plantar fascia”. The plantar fascia is a thick, viagra approved complex ligament consisting of three bands that runs under the foot from the base of the heel to the toes. Among its many functions it serves to form an arch under the foot and helps propel ourselves forward with every step we take.

The plantar fascia is not a muscle, sick therefore is restrained in its ability to stretch or elongate. This is where the problem lies: when a harsh repetitive force is applied on the plantar fascia for example walking everyday on a hard flat concrete ground with unsupportive footwear, purchase micro-trauma and tearing will occur, causing pain, thickening and fibrosis to the fascia.

What are the symptoms?

  • The pain is a sudden and sharp at the base of the heel or at the arch itself.
  • Pain usually occurs first thing in the morning first, getting out of bed or after sitting for a while.
  • There is a Dull ache during the day after standing for a long period of time.

What causes plantar fasciitis?

The main cause of plantar fasciitis is the tractional pull and stress at the plantar fascia under the foot. There are a few factors as to why the fascia is overstretching: Repetitive activities; Long periods of standing; Genetic predisposition (Flat feet); Weight gain; Age; Unsupportive footwear; Walking barefoot.

The most important factor contributing to plantar fasciitis is treating the cause and not the symptoms! This means correcting Mechanical factors or ‘excess pronation’. In this situation excessive subtalar joint pronation (rolling in of the feet) lowers the arch structure causing the foot to elongate and traction forces are placed on the plantar fascia at its origin. This constant tractional pull results in inflammation of the plantar calcaneal attachments resulting in Plantar Fasciitis.

Treating the cause not the symptoms

Breaking this repetitive cycle of rupturing the fascia is critical in the repair process. Orthotic are corrective innersoles designed to support the arches whilst correcting these mechanical issues from the feet up; treating the cause. The orthotic device will re-correct the foot and create an arch support, thus eliminating the tractional pull that occurs at the attachment points of the plantar fascia decreasing the inflammatory processes and pain. Gel and rubber innersoles are advertised to cushion the heels and feet, but do not treat the cause of pain and can even create an unstable platform for everyday walking.

Other Treatments

R.I.C.E – (Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation);Proper footwear; (Low Dye) Strapping; Foot Mobilisations; Prolo therapy; Dry Needling; Deep Tissue Massage; Extra Corporeal Shockwave Therapy; Calf Muscle stretching; Cold Water Bottle/Golf Ball Plantar Fascia stretching; Anti-inflammatory medications

Ibrahim Coban, Podiatrist
Mast. PodMed, B.HlthSci
M.A. Pod. A, AAPSM, SMA
For additional information please call the Australian Orthotic Laboratory  (AOL) footcare clinic on 9532 1250 or check our Facebook at AOL footcare clinic