Heel Pain in Adults – Plantar Fascitis
- Dr Abbie Clinics
- May 11, 2018
Treating the cause not the symptoms
The most important factor contributing to plantar fasciitis is treating the cause and not the symptoms! This means correcting Mechanical factors or ‘excess pronation’. In this situation excessive subtalar joint pronation (rolling in of the feet) lowers the arch structure causing the foot to elongate and traction forces are placed on the plantar fascia at its origin. This constant tractional pull results in inflammation of the plantar calcaneal attachments resulting in Plantar Fasciitis.
Breaking this repetitive cycle of rupturing the fascia is critical in the repair process.
Orthotics are corrective, medically prescribed innersoles, designed to support, control and align the foot whilst correcting mechanical issues from the feet up; treating the cause. Use of Orthotic therapy is an excellent treatment regime as it will realign the biomechanical structure and control the excess pronation of the foot, eliminating the tractional pull that occurs at the insertion point.
Orthotics will also stabilise the heel bone and the growth plate thus decreasing the inflammatory processes and pain. Gel and rubber gradient heel lifts are advertised to take the tension from the heels, but do not treat the cause of pain and can even create an unstable platform for everyday walking.
- Proper footwear – helps in keeping the foot stable and balanced in everyday activities.
- (Low Dye) Strapping – Removes the tractional forces applied to the plantar fascia.
- Foot Mobilisations – to help re-align the bones of the foot to reduce the stress on the plantar fascia.
- Dry Needling – creates an inflammatory response within the body too breakdown the scar tissue.
- Extra Corporeal Shockwave Therapy – mechanical shocks stimulating a healing response to the affected plantar fascia.
What is Plantar Fasciitis?
Plantar Fasciitis is the Latin term for “inflammation of the plantar fascia”. The plantar fascia is a thick, complex ligament consisting of three bands that runs under the foot from the base of the heel to the toes. Among its many functions it serves to form an arch under the foot and helps propel ourselves forward with every step we take.
What are the symptoms?
The pain is sudden and sharp at the base of the heel or arch.
Pain usually occurs first thing in the morning, whilst getting out of bed or sitting for a while.
There is a dull ache experienced throughout the day.
The cause of Plantar Fasciitis?
The main cause is a tractional pull at the fascia due to mechanical factors or excess pronation. Other exacerbating factors are: repetitive activities, long periods of standing, flat feet, weight gain, age, non supportive footwear and walking barefooted on hard unforgiving ground.