What is Plantar Facsciitis?

Plantar fasciitis is a common, painful foot condition which is often confused heel spurs. It can also be referred to as runners heel or tennis heel. Plantar fasciitis refers to the syndrome of inflammation and degeneration of the band of tissue that runs from the heel bone along the arch of the foot. The most common area of inflammation is at the insertion of the plantar fascia on the bottom of the heel bone.

Plantar fasciitis is most often seen in middle aged men and women but can be present in all age groups. It is the most common form of heel pain presentations. It is diagnosed with the classic symptoms of pain localised to the heel area of the bottom of the foot. Often the pain from plantar fasciitis is most severe when you first stand on your feet in the morning. At that time, the arch of the foot is tight and simple movements stretch the contracted tissue. As you begin to loosen the foot, the pain usually subsides, but often returns with prolonged standing or walking.

When a patient has plantar fasciitis, the connective tissue that forms the arch of the foot becomes inflamed (tendonitis) and degenerative (tendinosis) – these abnormalities cause platar fasciitis and can make normal activities quite painful.

Causes & Risk Factors of Plantar Fasciitis:

The causes of plantar fasciitis are often unclear and mutifactorial. The most common factor involved is repetitive microtrauma either through activity or occupation.

There are a number of risk factors that can be identified which can contribute to plantar fasciitis. They can be classed as extrinsic (factors outside of the body) and intrinsic (factors to do with the body’s structure and mechanics).

Extrinsic Factors:

  • Increased activity levels
  • Exercise intensity and frequency
  • Type of surface (hard vs soft)
  • Type of footwear
  • Occupation

Intrinsic Factors:

  • Body weight (increased risk with obesity)
  • Low and high foot arches
  • Tight calves (gastrocnemius and soleus) and hamstrings
  • Leg length discrepancy
  • Over pronation of feet
  • Reduced ankle mobility

Chiropractic Treatment:

Treatment for plantar fasciitis should primarily address the painful symptoms whilst also addressing underlying contributing factors. Treatment of plantar fasciitis can be at times a difficult process due to continual loading of the foot in day-day life. At Impulse Chiropractic treatment for plantar fasciitis may include:

  • Massage and soft tissue therapy (foot, calves, hamstrings, gluteals – the posterior chain)
  • Dry needling
  • Taping techniques
  • Ankle and foot mobilisations
  • Ice techniques
  • Stretching techniques
  • Analysis and correction of any biomechanical faults withing the foot/leg/knee/hip/pelvis/low back

 

Prevention & Management:

  • Exercise programming to improve appropriate mobility and strength deficiencies in the area
  • Wearing appropriate footwear
  • Reducing mechanical loading from relevant exercises and daily activities
  • Gait retraining
  • Referral to podiatrist and/or physio where necessary

 

Other Treatment Options

  • Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP) injections
  • Extracorporeal Shockwave Therapy (ESWT)
  • Cortisone injections
  • Non-steroidal anti-inflammatories (NSAID’s)
  • Orthotics
  • Surgery (fasciotomy)

Prognosis

About 80% of plantar fasciitis cases resolve spontaneously in 12 months. 5% of patients may undergo surgery to have the fascia released because all other conservation measures have failed. Patients should not expect overnight results when it comes to plantar fasciitis. It takes time, patience and dedication to resolve and move on from the condition. Patients should expect to see a reduction of their symptoms with conservative therapy.

Plantar fasciitis can be a frustrating and restricting injury. It is important that the right treatment protocol is administered early to reduce the length of the injury. Chiropractic care can help you find the right solutions when treating your plantar fasciitis and get you back on your feet quickly!

If you think you may be experiencing plantar fasciitis, contact Impulse Chiropractic for a thorough assessment and treatment plan. As Sydney’s trusted Chiropractor on the Northern Beaches, we also assist with jaw pain treatment, neck pain, sports and pregnancy chiropractic. needs. Book online with Impulse Chiropractic today!