Plantar Fasciitis is a painful condition causing chronic heel pain. In some cases it may also result in arch pain.
The pain usually is felt on the underside of the heel and is often most intense with your first steps when getting out of bed in the morning. Plantar Fasciitis presents with a sharp stabbing pain at the bottom or front of the heel bone. In most cases, heel pain is more severe following periods of inactivity (resting or sleeping) when getting up and then subsides, turning into a dull ache.
What causes it?
Contributing factors are age, weight gain, jobs that require a lot of walking or standing on hard surfaces, badly worn shoes with little support and also inactivity.
What are the treatment options?
The most commonly doctor-recommended treatment methods include:
• Ice (applied onto the heel area for about 5 mins) with early symptoms
• Rest or reduced activity (i.e. refrain from sports, running, walking distances, standing for long periods etc)
• A programme of daily exercises from a physiotherapist. A physiotherapist may also use taping and other techniques to relieve the stress off the Plantar Fascia.
• Orthotic insoles, to correct poor foot biomechanics if indicated.
A number of recent studies have shown that the most effective long-term treatment of Plantar Fasciitis is a combination of daily exercises and wearing orthotic insoles. The exercises help make the muscles and tendons in the feet and legs longer and more flexible. In turn this will reduce the tension on the Plantar Fascia.
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