What Is Plantar Fasciitis?
The Plantar Fascia is a very thick band of tissue that connects the heel bone to the toes. This band of tissue under tension helps maintain the integrity of the main arch of the foot. Plantar Fasciitis is a common foot condition that causes heel pain and pain in the sole of the foot – it is often sore first thing in the morning or on standing after periods of inactivity. Often this pain can be very severe but the good news is that it is treatable by our Physios who have had specific training in the treatment of this condition.
Plantar Fasciitis Symptoms
The symptoms of plantar fasciitis are:
Foot pain over the inside/bottom of the heel
Pain often radiates down the inside of the sole of the foot
Pain that is usually worse in the mornings
Pain that increases over a period of months
People with Plantar Fasciitis often describe the pain as worse when they get up in the morning or after they've been sitting for long periods of time. After a few minutes of walking the pain decreases, because walking stretches the fascia. For some people the pain subsides but returns after spending long periods of time on their feet. If pain is present on touching the affected area, and/or on stretching the Plantar Fascia, then it is likely that you have Plantar Fasciitis.
Plantar Fasciitis Treatment
The treatment of Plantar Fasciitis depends on both the cause and the symptoms being experienced by our patients. To arrive at an accurate diagnosis, our foot and ankle Chartered Physiotherapists will obtain your medical history and examine your foot. Throughout this process the physio will rule out all the possible causes for your heel pain other than plantar fasciitis. The following treatment may be used:
Orthotics / Insoles - Where there are biomechanical cause to Plantar Fasciitis, our Physios will complete a full biomechanical assessment and Gait Scan to accurately determine the aetiology. Depending on the results, we may prescribe either off the shelf corrective insoles or customised orthotics, which we manufacture bespoke for you using our Gait Scan technology. Custom orthotic devices that fit into your shoe help correct the underlying structural abnormalities causing the plantar fasciitis. We are Ireland’s largest provider of Customised Orthotics and our team are specifically trained in treatment of Plantar Fasciitis. For full details on this service, click here.
Plantar Fasciitis is inflammatory in nature and the key to successful treatment is to determine what is causing the inflammation and address this problem. The most common cause of Plantar Fasciitis is due to problems with the biomechanics of the foot. The usual findings are a foot that ‘over pronates’, where the inner arch of the foot rolls over too much during walking and running. Pronation makes the foot unstable and flatten, which stretches the plantar fascia and puts its insertion in the heel bone under huge stress.
Wearing non-supportive footwear on hard, flat surfaces puts abnormal strain on the Plantar Fascia and can also lead to plantar fasciitis. This is particularly evident when one’s job requires long hours on the feet. Obesity may also contribute to plantar fasciitis. Plantar Fasciitis is reasonably common in: Patients with a very mobile foot type, Patients who wear unsupportive footwear, Older patients, where the movement in the joints of the foot has become restricted and strain on the Plantar Fascia is increased, Patients, who do a lot of standing or walking, Patients who are very active in sport and in particular running.
It tends to be more common in females and in people who are overweight, but if you are a healthy young man, do not worry we see plenty of your type as well!