Research shows that plantar fasciitis is the most common cause of heel pain across Australia. Experiencing plantar fasciitis in your lifetime isn’t especially rare, but finding an effective treatment is still crucial. If left to worsen over time, plantar fasciitis can cause significant pain, making even the most routine daily tasks uncomfortable and difficult to complete. The solution? Taking your heel pain straight to a podiatrist. Continue reading as we dive into the ways a podiatrist can assess, diagnose, and treat your plantar fasciitis.
This blog details key facts about what plantar fasciitis is and how seeing a podiatrist can treat the condition. For personalised foot health advice, contact our team at Foot Health Clinic today.
What is Plantar Fasciitis?
‘Plantar fasciitis’ refers to the inflammation of the plantar fascia. This is the band of tissue that spans over your entire foot, running from the heel bone and extending all the way out to your toes. This structure is vital to the function of your foot, and damage can pose a significant threat to your comfort and mobility. When the plantar fascia is overworked and strained with repetitive pressure, plantar fasciitis can develop, causing inflammation, swelling, tearing, bruising, and sometimes severe pain.
Symptoms and Causes
The vast majority of patients with plantar fasciitis describe the same primary symptom. The discomfort manifests as a sharp, stabbing pain in the bottom of the foot, right near the heel. Often, this pain is most severe after long periods of rest or sitting, and is worst when taking your first few steps in the morning. Throughout the day the pain is more tolerable – though it may flare up when exercising or putting particular pressure on the plantar fascia. As for causes, the primary factor leading to plantar fasciitis developing is overuse and tension on the plantar fascia. Stress and repeated stretching can lead to damage, and high-impact activities such as running can increase the likelihood.
Risk Factors of Plantar Fasciitis
There is an array of risk factors that can contribute to plantar fasciitis, increasing the likelihood of developing the condition at some stage in your life. Some are genetic or cannot be avoided, but some can be avoided with appropriate foot care and careful protection of your body. These factors include:
- Strenuous physical activity
- Flat feet
- High arches
- Tightness in the calf muscles
- Extended periods of time standing, especially on hard surfaces such as concrete
- Unsupportive footwear or regularly walking barefoot
How Can a Podiatrist Help?
Any podiatry clinic will encounter countless cases of plantar fasciitis every week. As one of the most common causes of foot pain, podiatrists are extremely accustomed to spotting, diagnosing, and treating plantar fasciitis. As foot experts, a podiatrist will be able to not only thoroughly assess and treat your pain, but also work with you to create ongoing plans that will protect your feet from further damage in the future. While plantar fasciitis is a highly treatable ailment, seeking treatment sooner rather than later is essential. Don’t wait until the symptoms get worse to get your pain checked out!
Podiatry Treatment Options
In your first appointment with a podiatrist, they may use tests and scans to properly diagnose plantar fasciitis and assess the severity of your condition. This can help rule out other causes of heel pain, as well as narrow down which treatment will be most effective.
There are a multitude of treatment options available, meaning that a podiatrist will be able to find an appropriate pathway to correspond with the severity of your conditions. There are many simple measures that can be taken to treat plantar fasciitis effectively, including stretching exercises, physical therapy, custom orthotics, and anti-inflammatories. If these aren’t effective enough, there are options such as shockwave therapy that can help treat chronic cases. As a very last resort, surgical solutions could be recommended.
Book an Appointment at Foot Health Clinic Today to Relieve Your Pain
Our podiatrists in Brisbane Northside have been providing top-quality foot care to Brisbane locals for decades. If you’re looking for reliable treatments from a friendly team, we’re ready to take your call. Book an appointment today to receive a personalised treatment plan for your plantar fasciitis. Let’s get you back on your feet as soon as possible!