At Foodmed Podiatry, we specialise in treating plantar fasciitis. Treating patients in Adelaide, Elizabeth Vale and Murray Bridge, we work to reduce pain and plantar fasciitis symptoms.
What is plantar fasciitis?
Plantar fasciitis refers to inflammation and pain involving the long elastic structure under the foot responsible for maintaining the arch and preventing the foot from flattening when we walk. In ‘fasciitis’ the body is trying to repair the injury and has gone into ‘overdrive’ because of one or more factors that may be aggravating recovery.
Identifying plantar fasciitis symptoms
The common factors associated with or the cause plantar fasciitis include:
- Tight muscles and/or fascia
- Referred pain from irritable areas in the muscle called trigger points
- Excessive standing or walking on hard surfaces
- Excessive weight
- A specific injury from a fall, running or sporting or working activity
- Poor unstable footwear
- Abnormal biomechanical function such as excessive pronation or poor shock absorption from a high arched foot
- Other inflammatory arthritic conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis
Where it occurs
Plantar fasciitis occurs at two specific sites:
- Insertion of the plantar fascia into the heel bone
- Mid portion of the plantar fascia
The initial treatment for both locations are similar:
- Calf and ankle stretching
- Short course of anti-inflammatory medication
- Rigid strapping
- Night splint for six weeks
- Prescription cushioned orthoses
- Change in footwear (if required)
- Dry needling/acupuncture
- Ankle block and cortisone injection
It is when these common treatments are ineffective that further options are required as the injured fascia has morphed into a different condition referred to as ‘fasciosis’. This is when the body has ‘given up’ on healing the injured site. This is when treatment is to encourage inflammation to jumpstart the body’s healing and repair processes. Treatment can include:
- Topaz coblation therapy via a minimal incisional approach (link) or PRP or stem cell injections (link)
- Extracorporeal shockwave therapy
If you don’t respond to any form of treatment then surgical release of the fascia needs to be discussed with your surgeon.
Improvements and healing
The plantar fascia has a relatively poor blood supply like most ligamentous structures, so it will take some time for the condition to settle. Typically you can expect 50-60% improvement in the first four weeks after treatment and things improve week by week over the next 2-3 months with “the tincture of time”.