What is a plantar fasciitis?

Plantar fasciitis is a debilitating condition that causes pain in the heel or arch of the foot. It is caused by excessive strain on the plantar fascia ligament on the bottom of the foot.

The plantar fascia ligament is a thick band of fibrous tissue that runs under your arch and attaches the heel to the toes. It supports your arch and helps you walk.

Athletes or runners with poor foot mechanics or feet that excessively pronate (flatten or roll in) are more prone to developing plantar fasciitis as this can place more strain on the ligament. Athletes in sports that involve repetitive running or jumping are also more prone to this condition.

Do you suffer from plantar fasciitis?

Signs & symptoms of plantar fasciitis

The following signs or symptoms may indicate plantar fasciitis:

  • Pain present on the bottom of the foot in the arch or the heel
  • Pain may present as an ache or be a sharp, burning pain
  • Pain is usually worse first step in the morning or when you get out of bed
  • Pain can also occur occur standing after being seated for a period
  • Pain mostly dissipates on walking but in chronic cases pain may be present on every step
Plantar fasciitis treatment Camberwell

Causes of plantar fasciitis

Plantar fasciitis is caused by excessive strain on the plantar fascia ligament. Factors that can increase load and strain on the plantar fascia include:

  • Poor foot mechanics or excess foot pronation
  • Excess weight
  • Pregnancy due to weight gain and hormonal changes
  • Activities involving running, jumping or hopping
  • Spending long periods on your feet
  • Poor footwear

Plantar fasciitis tends to be more common in the middle aged population, when supporting foot muscles weaken, placing more load on the plantar fascia. It is also slightly more common in women compared to men.

Athletes involved in sports or activities that place more or repetitive stress on the heel or arch are more prone to plantar fasciitis. This includes sports that involve alot of running and jumping including football, basketball, athletics, aerobics etc.

Plantar fasciitis diagnosis

Plantar fasciitis is easily diagnosed clinically by our Melbourne podiatrists, who are experts in identifying sports injuries of the foot and ankle. In some cases referral for an ultrasound scan of the plantar fascia may be required to check for tears and other issues as this can alter the course of treatment.

There are many different conditions that can either mimic or coexist with plantar fasciitis including tarsal tunnel syndrome and heel nerve entrapments. For correct diagnosis and treatment of plantar fasciitis, thorough consultation with one of our sports podiatrists is essential.

Podiatry treatment for plantar fasciitis

The sports podiatrists at Melbourne Podiatrists & Orthotics are experts in plantar fasciitis treatment for all athletes. Treatment options at our Melbourne foot clinic range from strapping, ultrasound, laser therapy, stretching, strengthening, footwear advice and orthotics.

Our podiatrists have great success when treating plantar fasciitis as we address the cause of the plantar fasciitis. Long standing or chronic plantar fasciitis or heel pain usually always has an underlying biomechancial cause that is yet to be addressed. We use computer gait analysis extensively to help diagnose biomechanical causes of plantar fasciitis. In these cases custom orthotics specifically designed to treat plantar fasciitis can be of great help.

A podiatrist is the best health professional to identify and address underlying biomechanical causes of plantar fasciitis.

For more in depth information on treatment please visit our plantar fasciitis treatment page.

Call us Melbourne Podiatrist

Do you suffer from painful plantar fasciitis?

At our Melbourne foot clinic our sports podiatrists are experts in the diagnosis and treatment of conditions affecting the foot, ankle and lower leg. This includes plantar fasciitis and heel pain treatment.

So if you are suffering from a painful heel or think you may have plantar fasciitis book an appointment with one of our friendly sports podiatrists today!