Plantar fasciitis / heel pain is a painful inflammatory process of the plantar fascia, a thick fibrous band of connective tissue. The fascia extends from the under surface of the calcaneus (heel bone) and extends along the sole of the foot towards the toes. The progression from plantar fasciitis may be a calcaneal spur. The treatment options are the same.
Plantar fasciitis is one of the most common complaints presenting to our clinics. Pain in the arch or heel often indicates inflammation of the long band of tissue under the foot (the plantar fascia). It can cause sharp pain and discomfort in either the mid arch region or at the inside heel, and less commonly the outside heel. It frequently causes pain upon rising from rest (especially first thing in the morning) and can progress to agony by the end of the day. Although plantar fasciitis is the most common cause of this pain, it must be clinically assessed and confirmed as there are other causes for heel pain.
Gait (walking pattern) and static (standing still) foot position assessments are carried out towards finding the cause of the injury. Causes are most often biomechanical in origin. Management may include one or more actions to be taken. Initially the inflammation needs to be addressed, stretching, footwear modification and orthotic devices will be advised depending on the outcome of the clinical assessment.