How To Diagnose And Treat Plantar Fasciitis

Plantar fasciitis occurs when the connective tissue along the sole of the foot (known as the plantar fascia) becomes inflamed, causing pain in the heel or arch. It is thought that roughly 10% of people worldwide have plantar fasciitis at some point and that 80% of people experiencing heel pain have this condition.

Table of contents:

  1. Causes
  2. Diagnosis
  3. Treatment
plantar fasciitis

Causes

The cause of plantar fasciitis is thought to involve repeated strain and tension on your plantar fascia. There are numerous risk factors for the condition, including your foot posture (both flat feet and high-arched feet), poor footwear or large amounts of barefoot, and certain activities such as sports involving high-impact or even just being on your feet at work. A person’s weight or age can also influence whether they develop plantar fasciitis in their lifetime, with it being particularly common in middle age.

Diagnosis

The condition is primarily diagnosed by a podiatrist, who will assess the foot for areas of tenderness and analyse the walking and running for any abnormalities. There are usually no further tests needed, but plantar fasciitis can be confirmed by ultrasound. The symptoms of plantar fasciitis mainly involve a sharp pain in the heel or along the arch of the foot, especially first step in the morning or after prolonged sitting. Plantar fasciitis can present in many different ways so it is best to get it assessed by an expert.

Treatment

If you have plantar fasciitis, there are still plenty of options for treatment, many of which are a lot easier than you might think. In the short-term we can offload the foot with strapping and provide stretching and strengthening exercises. Advice for footwear is usually required with custom orthotics often used to correct foot biomechanics and improve foot function. Orthotics are foot inserts that go inside your shoes. These can be custom-made to ensure a precise match to your foot and the exact amount of correction can be provided.  

 

Most cases of plantar fasciitis improve within a year, but can become a recurring issue if the underlying cause is not addressed. Contact Swan Podiatry and Orthotics today for more information, and to book an appointment to help treat your plantar fasciitis.

Author

Cable Mills

Cable Mills

Cable Mills is the Senior Podiatrist at Swan Podiatry and Orthotics in Darwin.
He studied Podiatry at Charles Stuart University and has worked in busy podiatry practices in Darwin and Melbourne since graduating in 2011. He has a passion for sport and biomechanics and finds it rewarding to be able to make a difference to people’s lives.
Cable opened the first practice of Swan Podiatry and Orthotics at the beginning of 2016. His areas of expertise are sports injuries, orthotic therapy, general treatment, nail surgery, fracture management and diabetic care.