Heels Killing You?
Do you hate the thought of that first step out of bed in the morning because your heel screams at you or have pain after prolonged periods of standing?
Plantar Fasciitis is the term that refers to inflammation (“-itis”) of the connective tissue (“Fascia”) under the base of the foot (“Plantar”). It usually occurs at the point where the plantar fascia originates at the heel bone.
The plantar fascia itself is one of the strongest structures in your body. Studies have shown up to 30 times your body weight can be loaded through the plantar fascia with heavy impact. Naturally the ‘weakest point’, therefore, is the attachment point to the heel bone.
Generally the pain is worse the first few steps in the morning, toward the end of the day and after sport or exercise. Commonly the pain may only be occasional when it first starts, many people assume it is a ‘stone bruise’ and will settle over time however the pain becomes more consistent. If untreated the condition can last for 2-3 years. With the appropriate management, in most cases patient’s will have significantly reduced pain in 6-8 weeks.
If the problem has been present for a long time the heel bone will try to protect itself at the attachment by calcifying and giving the plantar fascia something better to “grip” on to. This is a heel spur, and in itself is not a problem, but if there is inflammation associated with the heel spur it can become very painful with walking.
A thorough assessment and history is necessary to diagnose the condition.
Plantar Fasciitis is often caused by too much traction on the attachment point of the cord at the bottom of the heel bone. There are many biomechanical factors which can cause this traction problem. It is important that the cause is identified so the appropriate management can be initiated.
Believe it or not, a vast number of cases of heel pain that are diagnosed as plantar fasciitis are not actually plantar fasciitis at all! This is because of the muscle and nerve interactions with the heel that may also produce similar symptoms, but require different treatment.
So, if your heel pain has not responded to traditional therapy, there may be something else that has been missed and requires a more thorough assessment.
Once the condition and it’s cause have been identify we are experts at treating the problem and getting you back on your feet as soon as possible.