Today we revealed the most common podiatry condition that we see at Talaria – Podiatrist of Thornbury… PLANTAR FASCIITIS!
Below are a few commonly asked questions, and our answers, in relation to Plantar Fasciitis!
1. What is plantar fasciitis?
Plantar fasciitis is the most common cause of chronic heel pain. It is the result of degenerative changes within the plantar fascia at the base of the heel, as well as surrounding structures. Plantar fasciitis is often an overuse injury that is primarily due to a repetitive strain causing micro-tears of the plantar fascia but can occur as a result of trauma or other multifactorial causes.
2. Where is the plantar fascia and what is it’s function?
The plantar fascia begins at the heel bone and attaches onto the base of the toes. It helps support the arch of the foot and has an important role in normal foot mechanics during walking, running and jumping. It is an important structure in providing us a stable base for stability, as well as allowing us to propel ourselves forward and absorb shock.
3. Is heel pain and plantar fasciitis the same thing?
Heel pain is an umbrella term used to describe all variations of heel pain. Plantar fasciitis is the most common cause of heel pain. Heel pain can be caused by other common causes such as heel pad atrophy, calcaneal stress fractures and entrapments of the tibial nerve, medial calcaneal nerve, or the first branch of the lateral plantar nerve.
4. What is the difference between heel pain and heel spurs?
Heel spurs can occur in response to long periods of stress placed on the calcaneus caused by the plantar fascia. Over time, your body responds to the stress by building extra bone tissue which is the heel spur. Most heel spurs are actually asymptomatic, but for those who do feel pain in this area from the heel spur the symptoms are very closely linked with the symptoms of plantar fasciitis.
5. What are the triggers for plantar fasciitis?
There are many triggers that can increase pain in the management of plantar fasciitis, including:
- Barefoot walking
- Inappropriate footwear choices (unsupportive, loose etc.)
- Sharp increases in training load/intensity
- Lack of warming up and cooling down before activity
- Weight gain
- Time spent on feet
6. What exercises can you do for plantar fasciitis?
When painful symptoms are present, it is best to be conservative with your exercise choices particularly if you haven’t had it assessed by a health professional previously. Some simple exercises and stretches you can complete include self massage to the area of pain, calf stretching, spikey ball massage and towel stretches (place a towel around your toes and pull back towards your body).
7. What are the common treatments for plantar fasciitis?
The core approach to management of plantar fasciitis includes stretches and exercises, taping and providing thorough education around the condition itself, management tools to reduce pain and footwear choices. Other treatments include shockwave therapy and orthotics.
If you are in need of foot treatment – we are podiatry experts and can help you out! We treat a range of podiatry conditions here at Talaria – Podiatrist of Thornbury. Plantar Fasciitis is just one condition that we specialise in!