Plantar heel pain syndrome is a frequently diagnosed condition, around 10% of the population will suffer from it.
We know that 70% of plantar heel pain is attributable to this condition known as plantar fasciitis. This is a representation of the plantar fascia here. We know that there are a number of different causes for plantar fasciitis, they involve things such as rapid body weight gain, rapid increase or change of exercise activity, lack of ankle joint dorsiflexion, standing for prolonged periods and being generally overweight.
What we need to do is isolate the drivers for each specific condition. We also need to then carefully figure out what stage the condition is at and optimise the treatment around that. It is very hard to do research on musculoskeletal tendon problems such as plantar fasciitis. However, we rely on things like this study from the British Journal of sports medicine that came out earlier this year.
The findings of this study put together a number of different studies known as a randomised control trial of around about 5000 people. It came out with four of the most used treatments and effective treatments for plantar fasciitis. These were: localised stretching with targeting first step pain; strapping of the plantar fascia for acute pain; the use of radial pressure wave or Shockwave treatment and orthotics for helping to reduce pain.
Many of the people that come and see us with plantar heel pain have been told by other professionals that there is nothing we can do and it is a self limiting condition and it will go away. Here are some non steroidal anti inflammatories take these and it will settle down. A self limiting condition means that generally if you do nothing it will go away, which is true. However, a broken arm is a self limiting condition in most cases. And we don’t just ignore that. Plantar heel pain can cause significant discomfort and impact people’s lives significantly.
I’ve had cases of people crawling to the bathroom in the middle of the night because the pain underneath the heel is so intense. There are things that we can do to help your plantar heel pain, help you feel more comfortable, allow you to do more of what you want to do, and speed up the return to physical activities that you enjoy.
So come and see us at Waikato Podiatry Clinic, we can help you with plantar heel pain.