Plantar Fasciitis Treatment
What is Plantar Fasciitis?
Plantar Fasciitis is when your plantar fascia (connective tissue under your foot) becomes irritated. The irritation usually occurs where the plantar fascia inserts onto the underside of your calcaneus (heel bone). Around this area micro tears occur causing the irritation/pain on the underside of your foot. It is not fully understood why people develop plantar fasciitis, but according the NHS website common causes of plantar fasciitis are possibly related to:
- Being overweight
- Overstretching of the underside of your foot (usually during exercise)
- A recent increase in walking, running and or standing up for longer periods of time.
- Having tight calf muscles and Achilles tendon
- Recently starting or increasing exercise on a hard surface
At Skelian Chiropractic Clinic in Cheltenham, we also see people who do exercise regularly or people that are on their feet all the time who still develop plantar fasciitis. This may be due to an accumulation of stress around the foot over a sustained period of time in poor footwear.
As stated above, the mechanics behind the cause of plantar fasciitis is not very well understood. The plantar fascia is a thick band of connective tissue, which starts from the front part of the underside of your heel bone. From there it “fans out” along the sole of the foot before attaching onto the base of your toe bones. The purpose of the plantar fascia is thought to be a support the arch of your foot.
It is thought to be micro tears in the plantar fascia that leads to disruption of the connective tissues/fibres. Most commonly the pain is felt under the heel but can felt anywhere under the sole of the foot.
Plantar Fasciitis Symptoms
To diagnose plantar fasciitis correctly, you need to be aware of the following signs and symptoms:
- Pain under the sole of your foot, primarily around the heel
- Pain first thing in the morning. Usually when getting out of bed and you put your foot on the floor for the first time. The pain is usually expressed as a hot stabbing/sharp pain under the foot. The pain can ease after taking a few steps.
- Difficulty or pain whilst trying to lift your toes off the floor
If the pain persists for more than 1-2 weeks it is worth seeking advice from a health care professional. At Skelian we are able to help diagnose and treat plantar fasciitis.
Plantar Fasciitis Diagnosis
The diagnosis of plantar fasciitis is usually simple. A health care professional should take a thorough medical history and then perform a physical exam. Tenderness whilst pressing on the sole of the foot is an indicator, in particular, if it reproduces the pain and the pain is in a very focal spot. Other common possibilities for the pain can be a heel spur, which presents very similar to plantar fasciitis. If the diagnosis is still unclear after the examination, imaging may be needed to clarify the cause of your foot pain e.g. diagnostic ultrasound, MRI.
Plantar Fasciitis Treatment
There are several ways of treating plantar fasciitis. Try these self-help for plantar fasciitis tips.
- Put an ice pack on the sole of your foot, in particular over the site of pain
- Wear comfortable supportive shoes, that are not tight or restrictive
- Sometimes you can use a soft heel pad or insoles
- Regular exercises that don’t put pressure on your feet e.g. swimming
- Speak to a pharmacist for over the counter painkillers.
- Fill up a small water bottle with water. Freeze the water bottle, then once it is frozen roll it under your foot. (A lot of patients at Skelian report this to be helpful)
If you do not get any improvements regarding pain or symptoms, then it is work seeking professional help.
At Skelian Chiropractic clinic in Cheltenham, we offer several treatments for plantar fasciitis.
- Shockwave Therapy – from an evidence-based approach, Shockwave Therapy has a fantastic success rate for treating plantar fasciitis. As Skelian we offer Shockwave therapy, which is provided by our specialist chiropractor and physiotherapist.
- Massage – Massage of the plantar fascia can help reduce tension in the foot
- Chiropractic treatment – During a chiropractic treatment manipulation, acupuncture, massage, fascia release techniques can be used to help with plantar fasciitis.
- Steroid injections – A last resort once other forms of conservative treatment have not worked.
If you are suffering from plantar fasciitis and you would like some help or advice, please contact Skelian Chiropractic Clinic in Cheltenham.
Tel: 01242 254000