Heel Pain (Plantar Fasciitis)

Pain underneath your heel, especially when you first step out of bed in the morning.

Plantar fasciopathy(often known at Plantar Fasciitis) affects 10% of the general population and limits personal activities in many individuals.

Plantar fasciopathy is the main cause of heel pain and occurs when the plantar fascia, a band of fibrous tissue which supports the length of the arch, becomes injured at its attachment to the heel bone.

When there is increased stress on the arch, microscopic tears can occur within the plantar fascia, usually at its attachment to the heel. This results in inflammation and pain with standing and walking, and sometimes at rest.

Symptoms of heel pain

Heel pain is often worst in the morning immediately after rising from bed, or after sitting for long periods.

Pain is present on the bottom of the heel; however, this pain may extend under the arch of the foot. The pain is often described as a stone bruise, but a history of injury is usually absent and onset has occurred over time.

Pain can be worse when barefoot.

An increase in activity, especially regular walking or running, may trigger heel pain particularly if the footwear is not supportive.

Risk factors for plantar fasciopathy include:

  • Excessive running.
  • Standing on hard surfaces for prolonged periods of time.
  • High arches of the feet.
  • Leg length inequality.
  • Excessive pronation (flat feet) makes them more susceptible to plantar heel pain.
  • Obesity is seen in 70% of individuals who present with plantar fasciitis.
  • Achilles tendon tightness.
  • Inappropriate footwear has also been identified as a significant risk factor.

 Management of plantar fasciopathy

Seek professional assistance - from an experienced podiatrist, sports doctor or physiotherapist.

They will be able to assess if a biomechanical problem such as flat feet/high arch that may be contributing to the symptoms.

Treatment and management for plantar fasciopathy may include:

  • Modification of activity.
  • Change to appropriate footwear specific for the activity or occupation.
  • The use of customised insoles or orthotics.
  • The application of foot taping to stabilise and rest structures.
  • Rehabilitation foot exercises.

Formthotics can help relieve the symptoms of heel pain

Your podiatrist or medical professional can confirm the diagnosis of your heel pain and provide a management plan which may include Formthotics™, functional taping, footwear advice, strengthening exercises, stretches, or other interventions.

Formthotics™ encourage optimal foot function, this means that the structures that run underneath your foot will be supported, offloaded and relieved. Heel pain responds well to treatment especially when dealt with early, and a full recovery is likely.

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