A Brief Guide to Plantar Fasciitis

Posted on: 21 February 2018

Plantar fasciitis is, as the Mayo Clinic describes, a common cause of foot pain. The plantar fascia is the tissue at the bottom of the foot, which connects the heel and the toes to form the arch of the foot. This tissue can become inflamed and cause significant pain, which often leads sufferers to require specialist treatment, such as physiotherapy. This guide aims to explain this painful and inconvenient condition, from the initial symptoms right through to treatment, as well as explaining how to avoid the condition.

Symptoms of Plantar Fasciitis 

The main, and best-known, symptom of plantar fasciitis is foot pain. The NHS explains how the pain associated with this condition will likely be worse when you first wake up and will make it difficult to raise your toes from the floor. The pain is likely to be confined to the bottom of the foot, around the heel bone. 

Diagnosing Plantar Fasciitis

Usually, your GP will be able to diagnose plantar fasciitis through a simple consultation, where you will be able to discuss your symptoms and medical history. They will also examine your foot for inflammation and, if necessary, will recommend an X-ray or MRI scan to rule out conditions with similar symptoms.  

Preventing Plantar Fasciitis

WebMD explains the causes of the condition in detail, and many of them are things that can be avoided or rectified to prevent the condition arising or reoccurring. Make sure that your shoes offer enough support and are not worn out, and limit the amount of time you spend in high heels. Take steps to correct the way you walk if it is unusual, and try not to spend extended periods on your feet without a break.

Treatment For Plantar Fasciitis

For most people, a mixture of treatments is the best option. Sports Injury Clinic explains that the most vital thing to do is to reduce the inflammation with ice and cold packs, which will, in turn, reduce the pain. Your doctor may also recommend taping the foot on a temporary basis, to reduce the pressure on the arch of the foot. You might be referred to a trained physiotherapist, who can teach you a range of exercises to strengthen your muscles and stretch your feet. In a minority of cases, doctors may suggest shock wave therapy or surgery, but this is typically a last resort when pain relief and physiotherapy have failed.

Despite the fact that plantar fasciitis is a painful and inconvenient condition, it is generally a curable one and there is a range of things that can be done to relieve your pain. If you have symptoms, you should see a physiotherapist so you can begin treatment and start to recover.