23 Oct 2018

Plantar Fasciitis: What is it and how can it be treated?

The most common symptom of plantar fasciitis is pain beneath the heel and sole of the foot.

What is it?

Plantar Fasciitis happens when the strong band of tissue on the bottom of your foot (fascia) becomes irritated, after repetitive use or due to poor foot posture.

Why does it occur?

Most commonly it occurs in one foot but is possible to have Plantar Fasciitis in both feet at the same time.

Other Factors that increase the risk of you developing plantar fascia include being overweight and prolonged standing

It can be associated with rheumatic conditions such as ankylosing spondylitis or psoriatic arthritis.

A diagnosis is usually made from taking a history and a simple examination without the need for further tests.

How can it be treated and prevented?

Your doctor may recommend a short course of painkillers  such as paracetamol or nonsteroidal anti inflammatory drug (NSAID) e.g. ibuprofen, naproxen.

We recommend shoes with cushioned heels and good arch support. You can buy various pads and insoles to cushion the heel or support your arch. These are recommended to be kept in your shoes all the time.

Wearing slippers or going barefoot may cause your symptoms to get worse or return, even if your floors are carpeted. So ideally avoid doing this.

We also recommend stretching exercises. These can be downloaded from my website (www.hasantahir.com)

If these simple measures fail to improve the pain, your doctor may recommend trying one of the following:

Steroid injection — An injection of a steroid (cortisone) medication in your foot helps to relieve pain, although the effect may wear off after a few weeks.

Night Splint — Wear a splint that is worn at night in bed and keep the foot in a stretch.  When this stretch is sustained for a prolonged period the Plantar Fascia is held in a better position for healing.

Shockwave therapy - This involves using a special probe to generate sound waves that provide a burst of energy to the sole of the foot.

Surgery — This would only be recommended if all other treatments had failed and if you have had persistent symptoms for at least 12 months.

Whatever the issue, should you experience the symptoms of Plantar Fasciitis, it is important to have this seen as soon as possible.  This will help the doctor to assess the best course of treatment available.

Should you require my advice on this or any other matter related to your joints please contact me on info@hasantahir.com .  Alternatively, please make an appointment (02071234596)

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