Plantar Heel Pain – What is it and how can a Podiatrist help?

Plantar Heel Pain – What is it and how can a Podiatrist help?

Plantar Fasciitis is the medical term given to Plantar Heel Pain. This pain occurs usually at the heel of the foot due to the thickening of the plantar fascia, a ligamentous tissue connecting the heel to the base of the toes. When the plantar fascia thickens, this can sometimes cause inflammation which subsequently causes heel pain. In the morning, pain is often at its worst upon the first few steps of the day. However, it may go away as the day goes on – but return after long sedentary periods or in the evening. 

It is often hard to decrease loading of the plantar fascia due to the foot’s great functional significance in activities such as standing and walking. Meaning that heel pain can be present for long periods of time often becoming chronic pain. 

Plantar Heel Pain after a run

By providing an assessment a Podiatrist can evaluate different treatment options to help return to daily activities. These can include and are not limited to: 

·      Low dye taping 

·      Orthotic therapy 

·      Footwear modifications 

·      Strengthening exercises 

·      Soft tissue modifications 

·      Dry needling 

·      Shock wave therapy 

·      Corticosteroid injections

This area of the foot is not easy to treat, however, there are a range of different treatments which a Podiatrist can help with. A Podiatrist can provide alternative ways to offload, recover and improve pain levels by helping the plantar fascia to become more adaptive to stresses placed on the feet allowing the ligamentous tissue to become more resilient.