Niggling Heel Pain? You May Have Plantar Fasciitis
Plantar heel pain, sometimes called plantar fasciitis, can be caused by a number of factors, one being irritation occurring around the plantar fascia. The plantar fascia is a thick and fibrous piece of connective tissue which runs along the sole of your foot and up to the heel bone. The plantar fascia plays an important role in shock absorption and arch formation when you walk or run. Plantar heel pain is a condition which can affect anyone, but it is most common amongst runners, hikers and those who participate in high intensity sports. The condition is triggered due to micro tears which form along the plantar fascia over a period of time, leading to inflammation, irritation and pain.
If you are concerned you may be suffering from plantar heel pain, rest assured that Brunswick Heads Physio is your trusted partner in recovery. In this blog post, we’ll be highlighting everything you need to know about this common heel condition and how best to treat it.
How Plantar Heel Pain Occurs
The plantar fascia is a thick and non-elastic band of tissue. Repetitive stretching caused by excessive load on the feet and over-exertion can result in varying levels of damage, with the individual usually experiencing heel pain, particularly in the morning or during exercise.
Some of the most common reasons and contributing factors of plantar heel pain include the following:
- Excessive walking or running
- Poor choice of footwear (worn, ill-fitting etc) contributing to development of tears in tissue
- Sudden weight gain contributing to extra load on the plantar fascia
- Having flat feet and/or a high arch
- Weakening of surrounding muscles that support the arch of your foot
- Poor ankle mobility
- Weak calf muscles
Diagnosis of Plantar Heel Pain
If you are experiencing ongoing heel or foot pain, particularly first thing in the morning, it is important that you visit your physiotherapist as soon as possible for a diagnosis. For people with plantar heel pain, it is common for pain to subside after taking a few steps and the condition may improve over time. This is because the fascia tightens up whilst you are asleep, and with each step it starts to ease up.
Nonetheless, it is important to see a physiotherapist to confirm the cause and extent of your condition, and so you can be provided with a comprehensive treatment plan to help ease the pain and enable you to return to your normal routine.
Treatment of Plantar Heel Pain at Brunswick Heads Physio
There are a range of treatment options available for plantar heel pain. These may include the use of an orthotic device or taping specifically designed to support and offload, as well as strength training and exercises developed based on an individual assessment of your condition.
Treatment will help with:
- reducing tightness
- offload aggravated tissues for a short period of time
- stabilising the arch of the foot
- increasing calf strength
- improving the plantar fascia’s ability to deal with future load
While some clients may start to see an improvement within 2-3 weeks, most of the time plantar heel pain can take many months to settle. Partnering up with Brunswick Heads Physio will help optimise your recovery by adopting a tailored approach towards treatment, not to mention we closely monitor your progress throughout. Your physiotherapist is available to answer any questions, and they will introduce new exercises at the appropriate stages to support your recovery.
Overcome Pain and Regain Control – Contact Brunswick Heads Physio Today
Don’t let plantar heel pain get in the way of enjoying life to the full, seek assistance from one of our fully qualified and experienced physios and you’ll be on the road to recovery before you know it.
Book an appointment by calling 0419 629 333 and we’ll develop a strength training program to help ease the pain and reduce the chance of recurrence.