What is plantar fasciitis?

Plantar Fasciitis is an overuse of the ligament at the bottom of the arch of the foot causing pain of the bottom of the foot and the heel. Plantar fasciitis can also be known as a “heel spur” although they are not always the same. A heel spur is a bony growth that occurs at the attachment of the plantar fascia to the heel bone (calcaneus). A heel spur can occur (with repetitive pulling of the plantar fascia) on a foot with no symptoms at all and a painful heel can also have no heel spur present.

How does plantar fasciitis happen?

Plantar fasciitis or heel spurs are common sports which involve running or jumping. Runners who over-pronate their feet or have tight calf muscles are at risk as the biomechanics causes additional stretching of the plantar fascia.

What does it feel like?

The pain is usually localized to the bottom of the heel and foot.

Pain is usually worst first thing in the morning. After a few minutes it eases as the foot gets warmed up, but it can worsen during the day with prolonged walking.

What can you do?

Rest from excessive activities until it is not painful. It can be very difficult to rest the feet as most people will be standing or walking during the day for work. By walking on the painful foot you may continue to aggravate the injury

Apply ice or cold therapy to help reduce pain and inflammation.

What can we do to help you?

Prescribe pain or anti-inflammatory medication for temporary relief. Provide a corticosteroid injection to the plantar fascia. However, it has side-effects of increased risk of plantar fascia tears with physical activity and of heel fat pad atrophy. An orthotic insole can restore normal foot biomechanics and reduce over-pronation. Sports physiotherapy techniques can help you to learn exercises and stretches to reduce the tension in the plantar fascia.

Extra-corporeal Shock Wave Therapy (ESWT) can help stimulate the healing process at the insertion of the plantar fascia. Another option would be Autologous Conditioned Plasma (ACP).