If you struggle to take the first few steps as you get out of bed then you probably have plantar fasciitis
There are many reasons for heel pain such as trapped nerves or a fractured heel. However the majority of heel pain sufferers that we see in our podiatry clinics have plantar fasciitis.
What is plantar fasciitis?
Plantar Fasciitis is inflammation of the plantar fascia: a thick elastic band type connective tissue on the sole of the foot connecting the heel to the toes. The Plantar Fascia has the role of maintaining the shape of the arch, helping the foot to absorb shock and for assisting in propelling the foot during walking.
Why do I have plantar fasciitis?
Plantar fasciitis rarely has one clear- cut cause and in our experience there are usually a number of factors that can contribute to the plantar facia becoming inflamed and painful. From a biomechanical point of view, we often see that people with structurally high arches during non-weight bearing; suffer from excessive lowering of the arches during walking ( over-pronation) resulting in repetitive over- stretching and tearing of the plantar facia.
What else can contribute to plantar fasciitis?
There are many factors that can contribute to the development of plantar fasciitis however the most common causes that we see are:
From our years of experience, we know that poor footwear is one of the biggest contributors to Plantar Fasciitis, we see it time and time again, and it is a whole subject in itself! We spend much time on the subject during our heel pain clinics. In short, flat, sloppy, unsupportive footwear that has no fastening certainly contributes to heel pain, even good quality footwear such as trainers or new and seemingly comfortable footwear can be a culprit if it is a poor fit. We also see many versions of very unsupportive slippers that can lead to heel pain.
The time we see an influx of plantar fasciitis is usually April /May time when the weather changes and supportive footwear such as boots and lace – ups are swapped for unsupportive flip-flops, ballet pump type shoes or hard flat sandals. This can destabilise and stress the foot leading to heel pain!
If you spend a lot of time on your feet on hard and flat surfaces and if added to this you are in unsupportive footwear then you are halfway towards developing heel pain!
Sports and Activity:
Increased speed and impact on the feet during sporting activities can be a factor in those with certain foot types and is also associated with tight achilles tendons. Added to this unsuitable sports footwear can make you more prone to developing heel pain.
I have heel pain, what do I do now?
There are some simple things that you can start to incorporate into your daily routine:
1. Before you get out of bed do a few ankle circles, lifts and drops and use a long scarf of theraband wrapped under the forefoot and pull the foot towards your body – this stretches your calf and fascia and can make getting out of bed a bit less painful.
2. Roll your feet slowly over a golf ball or drinks can throughout the day – putting it in the freezer will further reduce discomfort and encourage healing.
3. Make sure you are avoiding unsupportive footwear – sloppy slippers, flip flops and ballet pumps are going to make your foot worse.
How can we help you?
Our podiatrists love to heel heals!
Here at Romford Podiatry our experienced podiatrists specialise in digital foot scanning biomechanical assessment, orthotic therapy, expert footwear analysis and mentoring on a home rehabilitation programme, the combined effect of all of these will reduce and cure heel pain. We also offer shock wave therapy which compliments all the other treatments we offer, this works by breaking down scar tissue, reducing pain levels and stimulating the healing process when the condition is chronic.
Our mission is to improve the quality of your life!
Please do call us, we are offering a free 10 minute consultation and a free digital foot scan to discuss how we can help you recover from heel pain.
What people are saying about us:
"I visited the practice after suffering severe heel pain. After assessment, treatment and some very good advice; I am now pain free. I made purchases of shoes, slippers and orthotic insoles. Altogether I am extremely pleased with the service and attention that I received."
Dave Hill (Romford)