There are a number of names for plantar fasciitis including heel spurs, plantar fasciopathy and plantar heel pain. Plantar fasciitis is common, occurring in approximately 10% of the population. People with plantar fasciitis usually experience pain when getting out of bed in the morning and the pain will gradually reduce with walking. The pain may return with longer periods of standing or at the end of the day.
The pain most likely occurs where a band of connective tissue, called the plantar fascia, inserts into the heel bone on the bottom of the foot. When repeated stress is applied to this tissue, pain can occur.
There are number of risk factors for plantar fasciitis, which include increased weight, long periods of standing and decreased ankle joint range of motion.
There are a number of different conditions that may be similar to plantar fasciitis, so it is important you see your podiatrist to exclude other causes.
The podiatrists at Fitzroy Foot and Ankle Clinic can provide excellent advice on the proper management of heel pain.
There are a variety of different treatment options available for plantar fasciitis. Your podiatrist will be able to discuss these with you and provide a comprehensive treatment plan.
Addressing lifestyle factors
Below are some treatment options provided by Fitzroy Foot and Ankle Clinic podiatrists.
Shockwave therapy for plantar fasciitis
Extracorporeal shockwave therapy is an exciting new therapy aimed at treating chronic musculoskeletal conditions. In plantar fasciitis, extracorporeal shockwave therapy is used to stimulate healing in people suffering chronic pain (i.e. longer than 3 months). Clincal trials have demonstrated extracorporeal shockwave therapy can reduce heel pain in 70-80% of patients.
Benefits of this treatment include:
very few side effects
reductions in pain often felt immediately
Foot orthotics for plantar fasciitis
This research has found that foot orthotics are an effective treatment for plantar fasciitis. Foot orthotics can reduce the pressure going through the heel, which will reduce pain and improve function.
At Fitzroy Foot and Ankle Clinic we have a range of foot orthotics including custom foot orthotics and high quality prefabricated orthotics. The prefabricated orthotics are an effective option but at a more affordable price.
Cortisone injection for plantar fasciitis
Cortisone injections (also known as corticosteroid or steroid injections) are another treatment option for plantar fasciitis. Fitzroy Foot and Ankle Clinic podiatrist, Dr Glen Whittaker, is endorsed to prescribe medicines including steroids. It is important to note that cortisone injections may only provide short term pain relief, and should not be considered a 'cure' for plantar fasciitis.
These injections can be administered in different ways, however we typically provide an injection behind the ankle to make the bottom of the foot numb, before administering the cortisone injection. Using this approach is more comfortable than some other methods.
After the injection
Your foot will be numb for several hours following the cortisone injection, so you should arrange someone to collect you from the clinic. It is important to rest your foot for 48 hours following the injection, and it is common to experience a slight increase in pain that will settle after a few days. For 4 weeks after the injection you should avoid standing for long periods and explosive activities such as running or jumping.
Treatment of plantar fasciitis
Start treatment for plantar fasciitis with our Podiatrists now. Book online or call the clinic on (03) 9485 8000.