Anthony & the team have specialised in the treatment of Plantar Fasciitis for many years. Patients travel long distances to experience their expertise in treating this painful affliction.
What is Plantar Fasciitis?
Plantar Fasciitis is the inflammation of the thick band of tissue that runs from the heel along the arch of the foot. It develops gradually and usually affects just one foot, although it can occur in both feet simultaneously. It is one of the most common causes of heel pain.
What causes it?
Usually, your plantar fascia acts like a shock-absorbing bowstring, supporting the arch in your foot. But, if tension on that bowstring becomes too great, it can create small tears in the fascia. Repetitive stretching and tearing can cause the fascia to become irritated or inflamed.
What are the symptoms?
Plantar Faciitis usually involves a stabbing pain in the heel of your foot that occurs with your very first steps in the morning. After a few minutes it normally settles down but it can return throughout the days if you stand still or sit down for long periods.
Who is at risk?
Plantar Fasciitis affects slightly more woman than men, and most sufferers are aged between 40 and 60. But activities that place a lot of stress on your heel and attached tissue – such as long-distance running, ballet dancing and dance aerobics – can contribute to an earlier onset of Plantar Fasciitis.
Also, people with occupations that require a lot of walking or standing on hard surfaces are also at risk, such as factory workers, teachers and hospitality workers.
Other risk factors include biomechanical problems such as misalignment of the heel, being flat-footed or having a high arch, pronation (rolling in the foot at the ankle), or having an abnormal gait, as well as obesity, pregnancy and wearing ill-fitting or inadequately supportive shoes.
Since it’s usually better after a few minutes why do I need to do anything about it?
Because of the way Plantar Fasciitis changes your walking gait, ignoring it may result in foot, knee, hip or back problems as well as other chronic conditions.
How is it diagnosed?
As part of Anthony’s holistic approach to both diagnosis and a plan to treat the problem, he will check for points of tenderness in your foot.
The location of your pain can help determine if it’s caused by other problems. He will also check the musculoskeletal and neurological health of your ankle joint and foot by testing your reflexes, muscle strength and tone, senses of touch and sight as well as coordination and balance. He may suggest an X-ray or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to make sure your pain isn’t being caused by a tear in the fascia or another problem, such as a stress fracture or pinched nerve.
Plantar Fasciitis treatment – what is available?
Depending on the individual patient’s needs, Anthony’s solution may include a tailored home exercise program and/or orthotics. For more information, please visit our plantar fasciitis treatment page.