Foot pain and injury are extremely common.
With accurate assessment and early treatment most foot pain and injury responds extremely quickly to physiotherapy treatment.
This will allow you to quickly regain a pain-free foot and resume your normal activities of daily living or sport.
Plantar fasciitis is one of the most common sources of foot pain.
The plantar fascia is a thick ligament that runs along the sole of the foot and connects the heel to the toes. It’s role is to support the arch of the foot, and when micro damage starts to cause inflammation in the plantar fascia, this is known as plantar fasciitis
Plantar fasciitis seems to occur innocuously, but most commonly occurs with running sports and some form of technique or biomechanical issue that stresses the plantar fascia. Flat feet or weak foot arch control muscles are two common causes of plantar fasciitis. These problems often cause excessive traction on the attachment of the plantar fascia causing damage and pain.
You can also develop plantar fasciitis after a direct knock on the heel such as landing on a sharp object or directly on the heel from a height. This can cause damage to the plantar fascia, as well as producing a bruised heel.
The good news is that plantar fasciitis is reversible and very successfully treated. About 90 percent of people with plantar fasciitis improve significantly within two months of initial treatment.
If your plantar fasciitis continues after a few months of conservative treatment, we may refer you onto our network of GPs and Sports Physicians who may inject your heel with steroidal anti-inflammatory medications (corticosteroid). Cortisone injections have been shown to have good short-term benefits.
Due to poor foot biomechanics being the primary cause of your plantar fasciitis it is vital to thoroughly assess and correct your foot and leg biomechanics to prevent future plantar fasciitis episodes or the development of a heel spur.
Your Leading Edge Physiotherapist is an expert in foot assessment. They may also recommend that you see our world-class podiatrist, who is such an expert in heel pain that he is helping the world’s leading shoe company design shoes to prevent it! If necessary, he can also provide a quality pair of orthotics to help control your feet appropriately.
What Are Heel Spurs?
Left untreated, plantar fasciitis can over time develop into a heel spur (or calcaneal spur).
If inflammation persists for more than six weeks, your body starts to try and heal the injured plantar fascia by laying down tony bone deposits at the site of the injury.
Despite the common misconception, heel spurs are not the cause of plantar fasciitis or heel pain, they are the result of long-standing heel pain.
For the treatment of heel spurs, pain reduction is the primary aim. This may include rest from aggravating activities, ice applications, gentle plantar fascia stretching, massage techniques and taping.
Useful products include soft orthotics or heel cups which can cushion the tender heel. Often it is poorly designed footwear that can predispose to the injury, so a review of your footwear is essential in managing this condition.
I Have Foot Pain – What Should I Do Right Now?
As soon as possible, and for 72 hours after injury, use the RICE method:
- Rest – Take it easy and only move within your limit of pain.
- Ice – As soon as possible, and for 20 minutes every two hours, apply ice or a frozen gel pack wrapped in a damp towel. This helps to control bleeding and pain and reduces secondary tissue damage.
- Compression – Firmly bandage the injury. This helps to control swelling.
- Elevation – As much as possible, elevate your injury higher than the level of your heart to reduce swelling.
Your next step is to have your sports injury assessed by a Leading Edge Physiotherapist. You can BOOK ONLINE now, or call one of our clinics on (08) 8364 6800 or (08) 8159 1300 to book an appointment.
If you are not sure if you need an assessment, you can ENTER YOUR DETAILS HERE and one of our physios will give you a call back to discuss your problem and work out the next step in your recovery.