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Do You Have pain under your heel?

Published: October 21, 2021

Do you have pain under your heel?

Lets talk about Plantar Fasciosis AKA Plantar Fasciitis

Pain underneath the heel is a common complaint seen by podiatrists, with ‘plantar fasciitis’ being the most common cause of heel pain in adults. This condition is so common that research has shown 1 in 10 people over 50 years of age experience this type of heel pain.

The plantar fascia is a thick band of tissue which starts at the heel and attaches underneath the toes. Its role is to assist in supporting the arch of the foot, absorbing shock and transferring forces from the heel to the forefoot. The plantar fascia works hard, research suggests that when walking or running the structure can be subjected to forces 3-4 times our body weight!

Those who experience plantar fasciitis typically experience heel pain when they first stand up to walk from sitting or resting. This usually eases when walking, but may return after periods of increased activity.

 

Why does it become painful?

The plantar fascia is made up of collagen fibres and when it becomes overused it can develop repeated micro-tears in these fibres. This degeneration usually occurs at the origin site underneath the heel, causing the stubborn heel pain symptoms.

Plantar fasciitis is commonly associated with, or even mistakenly referred to as a ‘heel spur’. A heel spur is an excess growth of bone where the plantar fascia arises. Research has shown heel spurs are common in the asymptomatic general population and are not thought to cause pain.

 

Who is at risk of getting plantar fasciitis?

Plantar fasciitis can affect adults and occurs in those who are active or sedentary.

The most common risk factors are:

  • Prolonged weight bearing activities i.e. running
  • Prolonged weight bearing occupations i.e. nursing, chef
  • Excessive pronation
  • Elevated BMI
  • Poor footwear choices
  • Tight and/or weak calf muscles.

 

What can treatment involve?

Plantar fasciitis is often referred to as a multifactorial condition; this means there is usually a combination of factors contributing to your heel pain and management often involves a combination of treatments. Treatments will vary based off severity of the condition, common treatments can include:

  • Footwear advice for good supportive shoes
  • Taping of the foot to reduce load in the plantar fascia
  • Prescription of custom foot orthotics to reduce load and improve foot biomechanics
  • Specific stretching and or strengthening exercises
  • Exercise modification
  • Massage
  • Dry needling

 

If you have heel pain symptoms, we welcome you to call the Back In Motion Rowville practice on 9755 5910 or click here for online bookings, to book a Free Initial Assessment and appointment to discuss what treatment options will be best for you. 

 

Kate Bentley

Podiatrist

BHlthSc., MPodPrac.

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